Born in the Netherlands, growing globally.
EFFECT Photonics’ history is rich with technology innovation. Read more to learn how we have grown from a TU/e (Technical University of Eindhoven) spin-out into the photonics frontrunner we are today.
Eindhoven photonics dream becomes reality
EFFECT Photonics is a spin-out from the prestigious Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e), the Netherlands, which has been at the forefront of European photonic integration research. We left the small office on the TU/e campus where it all began and moved into our first “home” in 2014 in Eindhoven’s Strijp-S district.
“When with Tim Koene we started EFFECT Photonics, the photonics technology was very much still in its research phase. The academics were working on new building blocks all the time, adding novel functions and features, and publishing nice results, but not really taking the time to solidify the process and make a stronger, more reproducible baseline. Working on a new project is of course much more exciting, so we started working on making a real product”.
Boudewijn Docter, President and co-founder EFFECT Photonics
With secured funds thanks to b-to-v Partners AG, we closed our series A funding in 2015 placing EFFECT Photonics even closer to bringing its optical System-on-Chip technology to market and to meet the exploding demand for bandwidth in cell towers and between datacentres.
Company’s attention turned to growth and expansion scouting locations for specialised telecommunications product development and manufacturing. EFFECT Photonics settled on Brixham, UK. Brixham is conveniently situated to provide access to the resources used by the well-established hi-tech cluster of companies and expertise locally based there.
EFFECT Photonics developed a product line and placed its first order on equipment needed to carry out measurements. We leave behind our cramped quarters and move into a new 300 m2 office space. We double our staff from 15 to 30.
Where do we go
Our company has some setbacks in terms of product development. We realise that what we want to achieve is more difficult than expected. This includes the partners that we are working with, our supply chain, the people we contracted to produce the chips that we are designing, but also the electronics components that we need to design in. We require more time and money because the telecom market is constantly changing. Our product strategy must change to reflect market conditions, fluctuations, and dynamics. We begin to focus on the expansion of mobile data 4G and 5G networks.
With high growth ambition, we raise a VC Series B investment round, entering into an agreement with Skylane Optics to supply lineside optical DWDM tunable SFP+ optical transceivers to Telecom operators across Europe, North and South America.
Ride the wave
Our company secures funds through Innovation Industries. With support from private and institutional investors, this local independent VC fund leads the B rounds, and about half of our original investors also join in this round. We complete the series B funding to accelerate the ramp of our tunable SFP production line and to fund the development of future technologies.
“That really puts us on the next wave of growth.”
Boudewijn Docter, President and co-founder EFFECT Photonics
We enter the commercialisation phase by establishing a marketing and sales department to get the product to the market. There are now 100 people working for our company.
Ready, set, produce!
We develop our platform technology. It is ready. The heart of our product is the optical System-on-chip. The delivery of our first optical chip to clients is now a reality.
We secure funding from PhotonDelta to support our growing 5G and data centre business. We will use this investment to further accelerate product development and business scale-up. Over the last 25 years, they have been cooperating in the research, design, development and manufacturing of integrated photonics technologies and components in Europe.
We are at 120 employees and counting and growing about 50% year on year. We expand our workspace in Eindhoven to 1,800 m2.
The company’s sales force is in place, and we are ready to further push our goal to go global.
“We grew from just the two of us to a hundred and twenty people, so it’s been quite a journey.”
Tim Koene, CTO and and co-founder EFFECT Photonics
Going strong-going global
The first SFP+ optical products are currently being qualified by customers in Europe, the US and Asia.
EFFECT Photonics secures additional funds to accelerate its growth and completes its Series-B funding. The investment round, led by independent venture capital fund Innovation Industries, secures continued participation from btov partners, Innovatiefonds Brabant BV, Beek Capital and Optiverder BV, and attracts PhotonDelta as a new partner.
“This investment will not only support EFFECT Photonics by accelerating the sales and marketing effort, but will enable further improvement in time-to-market for our range of optical communication products, and in particular those developed for the 5G network.”
Sophie De Maesschalck, CFO EFFECT Photonics
At this next phase of EFFECT Photonics’ hyper-growth, we tap out the Manta chip: the world’s first fully integrated coherent PIC targeted at pluggable coherent transceivers for the edge and metro/access networks. It is set to drive a revolution in cost optimisation for the next generation of coherent networks.
The first SFP+ optical products are currently being qualified by customers in Europe, the US and Asia. Several field trials are under way, and the company is getting close to beginning to ship in volume.
We are now 180 people strong.
We shape the future of photonics, today!
“In 2021, we’ll go into full mass production.”, Tim Koene
By the end of 2021, we aim to having a steady flow for the first product leaving the factory. In parallel, we will be working on other product variants based on that first product. But we will also be working on the next-generation coherent products that need to come out in a few years. These are all telecom products.
Where do we see ourselves in 5 years’ time? Our company is a global market leader in optical transceivers with a portfolio of 15 to 20 plus products. We are about 2,000 people strong. With this technology, there is a huge number of markets that we can target. If we succeed in capturing a few of these, we will be one of the biggest players in the telecoms industry.
“That’s a big mountain to climb. A lot of things have to happen between now and then, but that’s the potential.”
James Regan, CEO EFFECT Photonics