Innovation Industries invests in PHIX Photonics Assembly

Enschede, April 15th 2020 – PHIX started its operations in July 2018 to serve the growing demand for photonic assembly activities. PHIX’s goal of becoming world leaders in this field has come one step closer with large new investments from Innovation Industries and existing investor Oost NL (through Innovatiefonds Twente). These investments catalyze PHIX’s growth and its ambitions to scale up its manufacturing volumes.

The photonics market is estimated to grow exponentially during the next 5 years. Photonic technologies find their way into many sectors, including health care, automotive, sensing, consumer electronics and many more. Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) are a key enabling technology and facilitate further miniaturization, faster connections and cost reduction.

Before PICs can be incorporated into products, the chips need to be connected to other components, such as optical fibers, amplifiers and electronics with great accuracy. This photonics assembly activity is the core competence of PHIX. PHIX is the photonic equivalent of the outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) companies known from the electronics industry.

By acting as a back-end foundry service, the customers of PHIX do not need to invest in their own equipment and assembly processes. This enables a quick ramp up from prototype development to volume manufacturing. For others, partnering with PHIX will allow for outsourcing and second sourcing.

In order to serve customers from prototype to volume, PHIX also provides engineering support for product development. PHIX provides design guidelines that take future volume manufacturing requirements into account at an early stage of PIC and product design.

The investments from Innovation Industries and Oost NL will be used for the company’s aggressive growth ambitions and will help to accelerate PHIX’s plans to extend production capabilities.

PHIX CEO Albert Hasper comments: “With the investments by Innovation Industries and Oost NL, PHIX has a solid base to further expand the company. This will enable PHIX to provide customers with the best production technologies, now and in the future. Ramping to high volume production is an essential step for maturing the photonics industry”.

“PHIX will play an important role in mass adoption of applications with integrated photonics,” says Nard Sintenie, General Partner of Innovation Industries. “We look forward to helping PHIX sustain and grow their leadership position in the field of photonics assembly.”

Pieter Klinkert, senior investment manager Tech at Oost NL, adds: “We are happy to invest, with funds from Innovatiefonds Twente, in a company that has developed very well in the past two years in the ecosystem around Photonics, one of the “Key Enabling Technologies” dictated by the EU. Innovative companies like PHIX are of great importance to the region and underline the frontrunning position of companies around the University Twente in the area of Photonics. They attract talent and are an added value to the innovative ecosystem in Twente and beyond. We’re proud to contribute to their sustainable growth.”



About PHIX Photonics Assembly

Starting its operation in 2018, PHIX is a European based provider of automated photonics assembly services with its main facilities in Enschede, The Netherlands. We aim to become world leader in the supply of PIC based components and modules in scalable production volumes. We offer fiber arrays and assembly services for the four major technology platforms (InP, Si, LiN and SiN) and are specialized in hybrid integration of chip-to-chip and fiber-to-chip modules. PHIX provides a one-stop-shop from design to volume production of PIC modules.
For further information, please visit us at www.phix.com

Contact person: Gijs van Ouwerkerk
g.vanouwerkerk@phix.com
+31 6 14 89 23 98

Innovation Industries invests in disruptive potato breeder Solynta

Solynta will use this financing round to continue its potato breeding activities and to build a strong commercial organization that can address the billion dollar challenges within the potato supply chain. Solynta is a leading potato breeding and biotechnology company headquartered in the Netherlands. Solynta has invented and established hybrid potato breeding based on pure inbred parent lines, a game changing (non-GMO) breeding technology platform. This enables a seed based supply chain which would allow 25 grams of seeds as starting material instead of 2500 kilogram of tubers. It also allows for the fast and predictable breeding for beneficial traits, such as for example disease resistances, and by this reducing the need for pesticide applications manifold. In this way Solynta will finally unlock the $70 billion farmgate value crop. Solynta potatoes will not only improve potatoes, crisps and fries in the developed markets but will also support global food security through excellent starting material.

“We are thrilled to have attracted the backing and support of these top-notch investors and see their commitment to Solynta as a further validation of the potential of our hybrid potato breeding platform,” says Hein Kruyt, Solynta’s CEO. “The proceeds of this financing round combined with the expertise of Fortissimo Capital and Innovation Industries will enable us to drive and expand Solynta’s game changing approach in potato breeding. We look forward to working with them and use their expertise and guidance to unlock potatoes full potential.”

Yuval Cohen, managing partner of Fortissimo Capital says: “One of the most promising fields in which Fortissimo Capital has been investing is innovation in agriculture.  We have invested in a number of excellent companies in recent years among them hybrid seed companies such as Origene Seeds and Equinom. We believe Solynta provides yet another revolutionary offering with huge potential to transform the entire potato industry.”

“We are very excited about our investment in Solynta”, says Harm de Vries, partner at Innovation Industries. “Solynta makes breeding predictable. This has already resulted in a continuous flow of improved products such as late blight resistant potatoes. We are looking forward to working closely with the company and its excellent management team.”

Wageningen University & Research is elated with the opportunity the financing round offers Solynta to scale up. Sebastiaan Berendse Corporate Director Value Creation: “It shows university spin offs and R&D collaboration with small and medium-sized enterprises offer important routes to application and global impact of WUR knowledge. In order to enhance the innovation capacity of our domain, we will continue to expand our partnerships with investors, such as Innovation Industries, corporates and entrepreneurs.”

Note for the press:

About Solynta
Solynta is a leading potato breeding and biotechnology company in the Netherlands. Solynta has invented and established hybrid potato breeding based on pure inbred parent lines. A game changing (non GMO) breeding technology platform. This enables a seed based supply chain which would allow 25 grams of seeds as starting material instead of 2500 kilo of tubers. It also allows for the fast and predictable breeding for beneficial traits, such as for example disease resistances, and by this reducing the need for pesticide applications manifold. In this way Solynta will unlock the already USD70B farmgate value crop. Solynta was laureated by the Dutch government as National Icon.For more information about Solynta see: www.solynta.com.

About Fortissimo
Fortissimo Capital is a private equity group headquartered in Israel that manages four funds that raised $1 billion. Fortissimo Capital focuses on growth capital and companies at a point of inflection. Fortissimo Capital’s investment strategy is to achieve capital appreciation through the stimulation of growth and by building business fundamentals to facilitate sustainable long-term growth and value creation. For more information about Fortissimo Capital see: www.ffcapital.com.

About Innovation Industries
Innovation Industries[1]  is a specialist independent hightech VC fund, targeting Dutch companies that are developing commercially promising products and technologies in attractive technology fields like: nano/microtechnologies, semiconductors & integrated photonics, ICT & (cyber) security, clean technology, Food & Agro technology and medical technology (medical devices & diagnostics). Innovation Industries collaborates closely with the Dutch technology institutes, amongst which the Wageningen University and Research. Innovation Industries has since its inception in June 2017 invested in leading Dutch technology companies, such as Undagrid, Nearfield Instruments, Luxexcel, and Axign. For more information see: www.innovationindustries.com.

About Wageningen University and Research
The mission of Wageningen University and Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With its roughly 30 branches, 5,000 employees and 10,000 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the globally leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines, with a focus on transferring knowledge into application by its partners. wur.nl/en

[1] The Innovation Industries Fund is supported by InnovFin Equity, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of EFSI is to help support financing and implementing productive investments in the European Union and to ensure increased access to financing.

Innovation Industries invests in Axign

Amsterdam, 6 October 2017. Innovation Industries announces that it has made an investment in Axign, a Dutch fabless chip supplier serving the worldwide audio markets. The existing investors, Innovation Fund Twente and Innovation Fund Overijssel, will also participate in this investment round. With the equity investment, Axign will ramp-up the volume production of its first audio controller chip, the AX5689. With this device, manufacturers of consumer audio devices can increase the sound quality to premium audio levels at significantly lower cost.

Jeroen Langevoort, Chief Executive Officer of Axign states: “Streaming audio will become the future standard for music reproduction in homes. We believe that our product contributes to this trend in delivering unprecedented sound quality in small cabinets, whilst provide cost saving to the manufacturer. Reactions from consumers are fantastic once they hear music with our solution. It ranges from “unbelievable, open and transparent” to “I never heard such detail, although I listened to this record over and over again”.”

Nard Sintenie, General Partner at Innovation Industries says: “We believe that the technology of Axign will bring the best audio experience at lower cost for consumers in the mainstream market segment. We are excited about leveraging the high-tech network in the Netherlands to enable this unique breakthrough.”

Axign Controller Platform: opportunities for all stakeholders
The Axign Controller platform offers opportunities for both manufacturers in the Pro-Audio markets as in the mid-range to high-end consumer audio markets. The system achievements are second to none in comparison with other audio products on the market. In next generation products, Axign will build on its high audio quality and combining it with increasing functionality to maximize cost savings for audio equipment manufacturers.

Note for the press:

About Axign
Axign, established in 2014, is a fabless chip supplier serving the worldwide audio markets in consumer and professional audio. Its first product is a breakthrough audio controller chip, that combines benchmark performance with a low bill of materials for audio system manufacturers. The chip is specially suited for active speaker systems in streaming audio devices.

Contact:
Jeroen Langevoort
jeroen.langevoort@axign.nl
+31640245414

About Innovation Industries
Innovation Industries[1] is a specialist independent hightech VC fund, targeting Dutch companies that are developing commercially promising products and technologies in attractive technology fields like: nano/microtechnologies, semiconductors & integrated photonics, ICT & (cyber) security, clean technology, Food & Agro technology and medical technology (medical devices & diagnostics).

Contact:
Nard Sintenie, General Partner
ns@innovationindustries.com
+31610011072

[1] The Innovation Industries Fund is supported by InnovFin Equity, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of EFSI is to help support financing and implementing productive investments in the European Union and to ensure increased access to financing.

Innovation Industries invests in Luxexcel

Recently Luxexcel announced a 8.5MEUR(10MUS$) investment for its core activities in the ophthalmic industry (including participation from SET Ventures, Munich Venture Partners, PMV and KLA-Tencor). The first industrial grade 3D printing platforms are being installed this year in the USA and Europe. The additional 4MEUR (4.7M US$) investment will be used for rapid expansion of the Luxexcel platform-functionality through dedicated (co-)development programs and partnerships in the domain of Augmented & Virtual Reality also known as AR/VR. AR/VR applications include smart glasses that provide the user with real time information for professional and personal use, gaming applications including control consoles for drones (fpv), sensors and cameras integrated in eyewear.

Hans Streng, Chief Executive Officer of Luxexcel states: “AR/VR applications have become a hot topic in the industry.  We add the ability to 3D-print ophthalmic-quality prescription lenses to these applications. This enables the AR/VR headset manufacturers to offer fully personalized smart eyewear in an attractive frame design. The ability of our platform to 3D-print ophthalmic lenses in any shape or form and the possibility to embed new functionalities in the lens triggers entirely new dimensions in terms of user-experience and business opportunity.”

Nard Sintenie, Founding Partner at Innovation Industries BV says: “We believe that with the technology of Luxexcel it will be possible to combine AR/VR applications with RX eye correction, which is an essential component in bringing smart eye wear to the mainstream market. We are excited about leveraging the high tech network in the Netherlands to enable this unique breakthrough.”

Luxexcel Vision Platform: opportunities for all stakeholders
The Luxexcel Vision platform offers opportunities for both ophthalmic labs and AR/VR headset manufacturers. Ophthalmic labs use the Luxexcel VisionPlatform to 3D print custom AR/VR lenses. The Luxexcel Vision Platform is fully integrated in today’s ophthalmic lab flow. This opens up a new industry lens segment for ophthalmic labs.

AR/VR headset manufacturers have the opportunity to commercialize AR/VR headsets with personalized prescription lenses included. By making use of the Luxexcel Vision Platform lens customization becomes accessible to AR/VR headset manufacturers.The Luxexcel platform consists of industrial grade optical 3D-printer, lens-design software, ophthalmic quality print materials and workflow integration tools which enables customers to manufacture 3D printed ophthalmic quality lenses that meet all industry standards.

About Luxexcel
Luxexcel is the only company in the world with technology that can 3D print ophthalmic lenses. The company started in 2009 and has fully optimized its 3D print technology for the ophthalmic market. The unique and highly accurate technology allows lens manufacturing without the need for polishing. Key benefits of the technology are the ability to eliminate operational inefficiencies and the creation of new and perfectly customized products.Additional information may be found at www.luxexcel.com

About Innovation Industries
Innovation Industries [1] is an independent venture capital fund aiming to capitalize on technological developments, by providing investment capital to fund entrepreneurial activity. Innovation Industries is a specialist fund, targeting companies that are developing commercially promising products and technologies in attractive technology fields like: nano/microtechnologies, semiconductors & integrated photonics, ICT & (cyber) security, clean technology, Food & Agro technology and medical technology (medical devices & diagnostics). Additional information may be found at www.innovationindustries.com

Press contacts
Eva Flipse, Luxexcel
Marketing Communications Manager
eva.flipse@luxexcel.com
+32 14 49 02 96
+ 316 13 59 81 29

Harm de Vries, Innovation Industries
General Partner
hv@innovationindustries.com
+31 6 53 21 63 39

[1] The Innovation Industries Fonds is supported by InnovFin Equity, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of EFSI is to help support financing and implementing productive investments in the European Union and to ensure increased access to financing.