Rockley Photonics nears $300mn funding for optical platform

By William Smith
Rockley Photonics' integrated photonics platform and other sensors find use in everything from healthcare monitoring, to machine vision applications...

Oxford, UK and Pasadena, California-based Rockley Photonics makes optical components used in many technology platforms.

Its integrated photonics platform and other sensors find use in everything from healthcare monitoring, to machine vision applications like autonomous driving, to data communications.

Data centre efficiency

Photonics refers to the use of light particles (photons), with the company’s integrated offering providing simpler and lower cost solutions for data connectivity in data centres, alongside increased bandwidth and lower energy consumption.

Reflecting on the former sector, Andrew Rickman, chief executive officer, Rockley Photonics, said: “There is tremendous need for technologies that can enable effective digital health and wellness, driven by the associated benefit provided to population health.”

Significant backing

Since its foundation in 2013, the company has raised over $290mn across six funding rounds, reflecting the importance of its little-known components. Its latest $65mn round was led by existing investor Morningside Ventures, alongside new private funds.

“This funding provides the resources for Rockley to dramatically accelerate its product offerings, particularly our integrated optical sensors products,” said Rickman. “We are committed to our Tier-1 customers and our ability to help expand their product offerings and the innovative data-driven business models these products will enable.”

The company was last year named one of The Sunday Times’ 10 Tech companies to watch, and also earned a place on the Lazard T100 Venture Growth Index.

“We are very pleased to support Rockley at this juncture of the company’s development and contribute to the commercial success of their integrated optical chipsets and related products in multiple markets,” said Mick Sawka, Investment Manager at Morningside Group. “We believe that silicon photonics is at a tipping point, and the technical attributes of Rockley’s platform, coupled with the strong product roadmap and established high-volume production ecosystem, uniquely positions the company for growth in exciting verticals of interest including health care and communications. We have confidence in the deep expertise and proven track record of the Rockley team to deliver exceptional results.”

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