CamGraPhIC has raised the precise sum of £813,475 as it seeks to boost its development of graphene-based photonics technology.
Cambridge University spin-out CamGraPhIC talks about how it wants to “revolutionise optical communications”. Photonics technology is used for optical transceivers, which in turn are devices used for data and telecommunications networks.
The funding came from Wealth Club clients through the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS). This takes CamGraPhIC’s total amount raised to £1.26 million, which has been raised through an equity funding round from existing and new investors led by Frontier IP and Wealth Club.
A previous funding round, in September 2021, raised £1.6 million, valuing the company at £7.2 million. The money was raised through an Advanced Subscription Agreement, meaning that shares will be issued at a later date, either as part of a future funding round or converted.
Sir Michael Rake, the former chair of BT Group, is an investor in CamGraPhIC and will be joining its board of directors by the end of the year. He is currently advising the company on an informal basis.
According to Wealth Club, photonics technology could play a big part in 5G networks and beyond. Applications will include 6G mm waves, which will allow data to be transferred at speeds up to 1 terabit per second, such as for high performance computing and networks that need to handle the demands of artificial intelligence.
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Progress to date by CamGraPhIC has been “highly encouraging”. Current versions of the technology have indicated speeds of up to 100Gbps per lane and operation across multiple wavebands. Wealth Club says their speed is about twice that achieved in laboratory conditions by “equivalent technologies”, while it is projected that they consume 70% less energy.
Alex Davies, CEO and Founder of Wealth Club, explains: “While still under development, the products appear to be delivering performance at low cost and have achieved key milestones since the last funding round.”
Proceeds from the latest funding round will be used to complete fabrication and testing of the demonstration devices. The technology has attracted interest from unnamed “major multinationals” in the semiconductor and telecommunications sectors. Customer testing is expected to begin next month.
Wealth Club naturally looks ahead and senses more wealth on the way. The firm reckons by next year that here will be over 29 billion internet-connected devices in use around the world – more than three for every person alive today. It says that mobile networks are turning to 5G to accommodate the escalating surge in data traffic.
The underlying graphene-photonics technology is being developed under licence from the University of Cambridge.
Graphene has got a lot of attention – and China is the biggest producer. Some call it a “wonder material”, and it’s the thinnest material known to humankind, but about 200 times stronger than steel. Scientists note its optoelectronic properties, so it can convert electrical signals to modulated light signals and back at speeds of 100+ gigabits per second, hence its appeal for 5G infrastructure applications.
Wealth Club was set up in February 2016 and is a non-advisory broker of investments such as VCTs, EIS and Inheritance Tax Portfolios. Since launch, 9,000 clients have invested more than £900 million through its platform.