6 June 2003 Lausanne, Switzerland, Lightwave--BeamExpress has closed Series B financing, a $7.5 million round, led by Atila Ventures and joined by existing investor, Index Ventures. The company is focused on the design and manufacturing of next-generation optical components targeted at metro optical network systems.
Professor Eli Kapon and a team of scientists founded the firm when it spun out of the EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne) in 2001. Pan-European venture capital firm Index Ventures provided the first round of funding and has been actively involved in the development of the company.
BeamExpress products are based on a proprietary technology called "localized wafer fusion" developed over several years at the EPFL. This technology enables the fabrication of high-performance vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) able to deliver high output power and provide wavelength on demand. So far the company has developed both multi wavelength arrays and widely tunable VCSELs.
"The team continues to make tremendous progress, exceeding every technical milestone," said Giuseppe Zocco, general partner of Index Ventures.
Jean-Claude Charlier, CEO of the company, added, "After having demonstrated our first 3-mW optically pumped VCSEL and tunable VCSEL last summer, we have now demonstrated our second generation of electrically pumped VCSEL -- a new long-wavelength device ideally suited for applications such as metro access and storage networks where not only low cost, low power consumption, and a high level of integration are crucial, but also the capability to transmit over extended reach up to 40 to 60 km. Our preliminary reliability tests also show extremely encouraging results."
The funding will enable BeamExpress to pursue its product development roadmap, further strengthen its management and product development team and bring to market initial commercial products.