Photonics News: Week in Brief: 12/3/21

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ALKMAAR, Netherlands — PhotonFirst International, an integrated photonics sensing company, closed its Series A funding round. Jointly, the company’s largest shareholders committed €11 million (~$12.43 million) to fund the five-year business plan. Simultaneously, board members Ilko Bosman, CFO, and Daan Kersten, CEO, co-invested; the entire PhotonFirst team will participate through a phantom stock program. The majority of the investment will be used for next-generation technology and product development, and expansion of the commercial footprint worldwide. The company plans for an initial public offering in 2025.

BERNIN, France — Semiconductor designer and manufacturer Soitec acquired NOVASiC, a company focused on polishing and reclaiming wafers on silicon carbide. The acquisition allows Soitec to drive the development of semiconductors for power supply systems in electromobility and industrial applications. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.

PORTLAND, Ore. — PreAct Technologies, a developer of smart-sensing technology focused on collision avoidance and active safety, announced $13 million in Series A funding. PreAct Technologies was recently awarded $1 million as the winner of the Luminate startup competition.

MONTREAL — Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) will invest 3.2 million CAD (~$2.51 million) in One Silicon Chip Photonics. OSCP will use the SDTC investment to develop lighter, lower-cost inertial navigation sensors for the next generation of autonomous vehicles and drones. This initiative will also involve the design of a novel inertial measurement unit that will offer high performance in the precise navigation of any moving object, advancing the safety and accuracy of self-driving vehicles.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Anello Photonics, developer of the Silicon Photonic Optical Gyroscope (SiPhOG), was awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the NSF. The grant supports process development of a new 3D silicon nitride waveguide technology to enable smaller, high-precision, integrated silicon photonic gyroscopes. Anello completed a Series A funding round, raising $28 million in October to accelerate development of its patented integrated photonic sensor technology.

LIVINGSTON, Scotland — Ceres Holographics and Covestro deepened their collaboration around Ceres’ HoloFlekt films for automotive display solutions. The joint works will focus on the customization of Covestro’s Bayfol HX photopolymer with the Ceres mastering and replication technology that enables production of the finished HoloFlekt functional films.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Lidar company Cepton Technologies and Growth Capital Acquisitions Corp. entered into a committed investment agreement and related registration rights agreement for up to $100 million with Lincoln Park Capital Fund, a Chicago-based institutional investor, effective at the close of the business combination between Cepton and Growth Capital Acquisitions Corp.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Diversified Energy Co. will enlist Bridger Photonics to perform multiyear aerial scans of the company’s natural gas production and distribution assets starting with the Appalachian region. Bridger specializes in the application of precision lidar equipment to identify methane emissions from gas and oil facilities.

BERWYN, Pa. — AMETEK announced the acquisition of Alphasense, a provider of gas and particulate sensors for use in environmental, health and safety, and air quality applications. Alphasense joins AMETEK as part of its electronic instruments group.

Published: December 2021

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