London and Oxford, 12 March 2020 – Rockley Photonics is delighted to announce Ahren Innovation Capital as an investor. Ahren is an investment fund that focuses on transformational companies at the intersection of deep tech and deep science. Its four broad fields of activity include the brain and artificial intelligence; genetics and platform technologies; space and robotics; and efficient energy. Ahren’s goal is to build a new wave of transformational companies that will change the world for the better.
Rockley’s silicon photonics platform enables fundamental advances to be made across multiple mega-trend markets. The technology has great potential within sensor applications, where low-cost integrated optics solutions are sought for applications in areas such as in machine vision and environmental sensing; use cases that will each have a significant positive impact on society. Its technology also boosts performance in high-density communications applications, such as datacenter compute connectivity, 5G infrastructure and AI cluster compute environments, where using photonics eliminates the performance constraints of traditional electrical connections.
“Rockley’s platform aligns closely with our interests and spans very well across the application space of our target markets, especially as an enabling technology in new AI and healthcare opportunities,” said Alice Newcombe-Ellis, Ahren’s Founding and Managing Partner. “By starting with a clean sheet and designing a bespoke fabrication process, Rockley has created a highly versatile platform solution. Importantly, the technology can be manufactured cheaply and at scale for high-volume markets.”
“Ahren’s Partners have exceptional credibility and their support for Rockley further validates our technology, strategy and our experienced team,” said Andrew Rickman, Chief Executive, Rockley Photonics. “Silicon photonics enables novel solutions that unlock extraordinary application capabilities. Our unique manufacturing processes, expertise and solutions put us several years ahead of the competition.”
About Rockley Photonics
Rockley Photonics is a leading integrated photonics chipset developer/supplier for high-volume sensor and communication products. Formed in 2013, Rockley Photonics has developed a highly versatile, application specific, third-generation silicon photonics platform specifically designed for the optical integration challenges facing numerous mega-trend markets. Rockley has partnered with multiple tier-1 customers across the markets it serves to deliver the complex optical systems required for transformational product realization.
Rockley’s founder, Andrew Rickman, is recognized across the industry for his technical and commercial success in silicon photonics. Andrew founded the first company to commercialize silicon photonics, Bookham Technology. Bookham had a successful IPO in 2000, became Oclaro in 2009 and is now a part of Lumentum. He later became the chairman of Kotura which was successfully sold to Mellanox in 2013.
About Ahren Innovation Capital:
Ahren Innovation Capital is an investment institution that supports transformational companies at the intersection of deep tech and deep science that will penetrate, or create, massive markets. Ahren is a unique partnership of investment talent and best-in-class commercial scientists whose technologies are today valued in excess of $100BN combined.
Ahren believes in taking asymmetric, considered, risk that will deliver superior rewards – capturing a generational opportunity to provide smart capital to deep technology.
With a philosophy espousing the importance of relationships and trust, Ahren provides both patient and active capital to exceptional founders and teams, empowering them to succeed.
Ahren’s Founding and Science Partners include:
Alice Newcombe-Ellis, Founder & CEO, formerly an investor at TPG Capital and Lansdowne Partners, Double First Class degree in Mathematics and Master’s in Maths & Physics from the University of Cambridge; Fulbright and Baker Scholar at Harvard Business School.
Sir Shankar Balasubramanian, principal inventor of the leading next generation human genome sequencing technology core to all Illumina sequencing platforms, estimated worth >$30BN.
Professor Roberto Cipolla, Professor of Information Engineering at Cambridge University, Director of Toshiba Research Europe.
Professor John Daugman, Head of Artificial Intelligence Group of Cambridge University, inventor of IRIS (eye) recognition technology used to register 1.5BN citizens worldwide.
Professor Zoubin Ghahramani, world leader in machine learning, co-founder of Geometric Intelligence, sold to Uber for an undisclosed amount.
Professor Steve Jackson, founder/co-founder of three companies and originator of Olaparib/Lynparza, recently partnered by AstraZeneca with Merck and valued as an asset at up to $17BN.
Professor Andy Parker, CERN leader, Head of the Cavendish Laboratory (Physics Department) of Cambridge University.
Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, Nobel prize laureate and President of the Royal Society, the UK’s premier science body.
Lord Martin Rees, world-renowned astrophysicist, Astronomer Royal, founder of CSER, former President of the Royal Society and former Master of Trinity College, Cambridge University.
Sir Gregory Winter, 2018 Nobel laureate, inventor of technology leading to Humira ($18BN sales in 2017, the world’s greatest grossing drug) and founder of three companies. Master of Trinity College, Cambridge University.