Heptagon raises over $22m in new equity financing

July 20, 2009
Funding will allow the company to expand its capacity for products such as camera lenses and beam-shaping optics for LED applications.
Heptagon, the Finland-based developer of wafer-scale micro-optics, has raised over $22 million in new equity financing, mostly from a new syndicate led by GGV Capital.

Heptagon’s current investors, including Innovations Kapital of Sweden, Innovacom of France and Nokia Growth Partners, have also participated in this latest round. Heptagon’s operational headquarters and development center is located in Rueschlikon, Switzerland.

Chuck Milligan, Heptagon’s CEO, says that Heptagon has a “truly unique and proven value proposition,” namely optics which are glass-like in quality, as well as being compatible with lead-free reflow and Telcordia, but are manufactured in the same wafer-scale format as the CMOS image sensor, LED and VCSEL technologies that the company supports.

“This technology allows us to quickly ramp from several millions to several tens of millions of components per month and enables our customers to benefit from wafer-scale integration of optics with semiconductors,” says Milligan.

Heptagon has introduced several new products this year, including 2 and 3 megapixel camera lenses, which have increased the company’s addressable market by an order of magnitude. This has driven the need for a significant capacity expansion for which part of this new equity investment will be used.

Milligan says that the company is “extremely pleased to have been able to raise this investment despite the currently-challenged investment environment. This is a testament to our strong leadership position in this industry-changing technology.”

“We are also very excited with the quality and commitment of our new investors. GGV Capital and partners have a fantastic track record and will add great experience and knowledge of consumer electronics and Asian manufacturing to Heptagon’s investor base and board,” said Milligan. GGV Capital is headquartered in Menlo Park, California with a dual focus on US and Asia technology companies and offices in China and Singapore.

Scott Bonham, founder and managing partner of GGV Capital, says ”We believe that wafer-scale optics is a technology whose time has come and which has the potential to revolutionize first the CMOS image sensor market and then other semiconductor photonics markets.

“Heptagon is the clear leader in this space with several years of volume production with market-leading customers, rapid growth and a very exciting product roadmap. We are looking forward to supporting the Heptagon team in continuing this growth and making wafer-scale optics the dominant optics technology in semiconductor-based opto-electronic modules.”