MicroAlign Closes Seed Funding Round

The Dutch startup MicroAlign secures a €1 Million seed investment to enable efficient interconnections in Quantum Photonic Computers.

EINDHOVEN, The Netherlands, 5 June 2024 – MicroAlign, a spin-off from the Eindhoven University of Technology, announced today that it has closed €1 million in seed-funding to accelerate the commercialization of high-accuracy fiber arrays. The funding round was led by the Dutch venture capital firms DeepTechXL and PhotonVentures, reflecting investors’ strong belief in the company’s vision to develop a unique and crucial product for the photonics industry.

This investment accelerates MicroAlign’s path to market and product development by expanding the R&D team and facilities. Their technology will benefit the world of quantum photonic computing, data communication, and AI computing, by providing an interconnection component that reduces the system energy consumption and improves the related functionality performance. With the developed technology, MicroAlign will support the photonics-based industries to take the next steps further toward achieving pivotal society development goals ranging from climate action, and digitalization, to industrial optimization.

“Over the past three years, MicroAlign has developed technology to manipulate optical fibers with unmatched precision, generating already four patents describing revolutionary approaches in the critical optical fiber alignment operation. This technology is based on the smallest fiber alignment actuator in the world and represents a groundbreaking solution for the industry. We are currently laser sharp focused on developing further our technology to realize ultra-high accuracy fiber arrays.”

Even though several photonics-based markets can benefit from MicroAlign’s technology, quantum photonic computing represents the field that most urgently needs such a fiber array technology to be developed. The CEO Simone Cardarelli explains how MicroAlign can support the quantum photonic computing development: .

“MicroAlign's fiber array product is a key enabling technology for quantum photonic computing applications, where every photon counts in the fiber-to-chip connection. Exponential benefits in quantum computing efficiency can be indeed achieved with a high-accuracy fiber array component. At the same time, the technology trends driven by the growing demands for data traffic and AI computing show that low-loss optical interconnections are more and more a point of concern, opening a huge application opportunity for MicroAlign in the near future. We would like to sincerely thank our customers, stakeholders, partners, and suppliers who believe in us and are supporting MicroAlign in the next exciting phase!”

Aligned with the industrial and societal motivation of the company, the managing partner at DeepTechXL Teska van Vuren states the investment firm’s vision and goal:

”DeepTechXL shares MicroAlign’s vision to make an impact by solving one of the main technical bottlenecks for quantum photonic computers. DeepTechXL will support MicroAlign in scaling up and becoming the number one in low coupling loss fiber arrays."

Vision, technology, and business development goals will be achieved by a dedicated and strong team, as reported by a quote from the General Partner at PhotonVentures Ewit Roos:

“MicroAlign is the only company in Europe that has proven to meet the stringent requirements for fiber alignment in the still small but promising and already very demanding quantum photonic computing domain. With their excellent technology and the continuous focus on customer needs and delivery, I am convinced this MicroAlign team is ready to facilitate successfully the growth of this industry and other sectors that require ultra-low loss fiber coupling solutions.’’

About MicroAlign

The MicroAlign technology idea was born from a Ph.D. project performed at the Eindhoven University of Technology, and part of the MEMPHIS II program funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). A micro-positioning system capable of aligning multiple optical fibers has been invented at MicroAlign and represents our core technology. The potential of the alignment system in relaxing assembly tolerances in the photonic manufacturing industry has motivated the team to explore the market potential of the new technology. Our development is funded by national and regional financing schemes and by seed funding options available through Dutch organizations and programs: NWO, Smart Industry Fund, PhotonDelta, NXTGEN, and MRE.

MicroAlign operates with access to the highly equipped TU/e facilities and to the Nanolab Eindhoven cleanroom and can leverage the developed photonic, electronic, and mechanical knowledge to propose a quality solution.

About DeepTechXL

DeepTechXL is dedicated to investing in early-stage Deep Tech ventures that drive societal impact and address grand challenges. Our diverse and experienced team, including successful entrepreneurs, DeepTech investors, M&A experts, and venture builders, collaborates closely with ventures, providing hands-on support to scale high-impact, high-value businesses. We focus on empowering innovative entrepreneurs to share knowledge and grow, fostering a community of impact-driven technology leaders.

Supported by industry giants like ASML, Philips, and PME Pensioenfonds, DeepTechXL is committed to nurturing the Dutch startup ecosystem. For more information, visit www.deeptechxl.com

About PhotonVentures

PhotonVentures is a leading Dutch venture capital firm with a keen eye on the future of integrated photonics. Their portfolio reflects a commitment to advancing the field of integrated photonics, with investments in companies that are pushing the boundaries of light-based technologies. From telecommunications to healthcare, PhotonVentures empowers its investees to lead and redefine their industries with cutting-edge integrated photonics solutions. With a strong foundation in both the technical and commercial aspects of integrated photonics, PhotonVentures is not just a funding source but a strategic ally to the companies it invests in, driving progress in integrated photonics that will shape the technological landscape of tomorrow.

www.photonventures.vc

For more information about MicroAlign’s technology, please send an email to info@microalign.nl

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