6 October 2020
Rockley closes $50m growth funding round
Rockley Photonics of Oxford, UK and Pasadena, CA, USA has closed an additional $50m of growth funding from venture capital, strategic investors and institutional funds including Credit Suisse-backed SIG-i Capital and Applied Ventures LLC (the venture capital arm of Applied Materials Inc) as well as existing shareholders. To date, Rockley has raised over $225m of financing.
Rockley was formed in 2013 by a management team that has previously had success with two silicon photonics companies. Founder & CEO Andrew Rickman founded the first firm to commercialize silicon photonics, Bookham Technology (which had an IPO in 2000, became Oclaro in 2009 and is now a part of Lumentum), and later became chairman of Kotura (sold to Mellanox in 2013). Rockley has developed a highly versatile, third-generation application-specific silicon photonics platform designed for optical integration in next-generation sensor systems and communications networks.
“It is testament to the strength of our technology and emerging market opportunities that we have attracted such a preeminent list of new investors to join many of our existing shareholders in this funding round,” says Rickman. “This round provides the funding for Rockley as it moves into the next exciting growth phase and develops next-generation disruptive silicon photonics-powered healthcare and wellness sensors and communications products for its tier-1 customers,” he adds.
CCO appointment targets healthcare market
Rockley has appointed Vafa Jamali as chief commercial officer (CCO), responsible for the firm’s commercial strategy, driving business growth and market share. With over 25 years of experience in the medical device industry (most recently at Medtronic), Jamali has extensive medical device knowledge across several specialties and patient conditions.
“Our optical sensing chipsets, with their unique analytical capabilities, bring benchtop testing capabilities to healthcare and well-being markets within handheld and wearable devices,” notes Rickman. “Vafa’s extensive experience in the medical devices field will help to position Rockley for growth in this multi-billion-dollar, high-volume market.”
Rockley developed its photonics platform to facilitate cost-effective volume manufacture of highly integrated optical/electronic devices. The platform enables both multiple healthcare and wellness applications in consumer sensors and applications in data communications and machine vision.
“Personalized monitoring of multiple biophysical and biochemical biomarkers will revolutionize the way we look after our health and wellbeing,” reckons Jamili. “Rockley’s technology is transformative,” he adds.
In September, Rockley was recognized by The Sunday Times as one of the top 10 British tech companies to watch.