Rockley Photonics raises $52m in Series E funding round

2 Jul 2019

Image: © OlegDoroshin/

Silicon photonics solutions provider Rockley Photonics has announced a successful first closure in its Series E funding round.

Rockley Photonics has closed a Series E funding round and drummed up an additional $52m in capital, bringing the total the start-up has raised to date to $165m.

Investors in this round include a key strategic partnership with Morningside Technology Ventures, a private equity and venture capitalism group founded in 1986 by the Chan family in Hong Kong.

“Rockley is strengthening its position as a leading integrated silicon photonics solutions provider,” said Mahesh Karanth, chief financial officer at Rockley Photonics, while celebrating the news. “It will support the full execution of our business plan and continued growth as we make significant strides in co-packaging for OptoASICs and data centre connectivity, LiDAR, and consumer electronic applications.”

Andrew Rickman, chief executive officer at Rockley Photonics, added: “Rockley is uniquely positioned, having developed a proprietary photonics platform and manufacturing technologies, underpinned by a depth of expertise that goes back some 30 years.

“We are currently using our platform to address applications in the data centre and high-performance computing, medical and life sciences, and 3D imaging/sensing verticals, with the potential for additional verticals in the future.”

Rockley Photonics was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Pasadena, California. It develops a third-generation photonics platform specifically designed for the optical input and output challenges facing next-generation sensor systems and communication networks. Its platform was developed with a focus on high-volume manufacturing of highly integrated optical and electronic devices.

Silicon photonics involves the microintegration of optical functions on silicon chips and is the optical counterpart of microelectronic integrated circuits.

In 2018, Rockley penned a deal with Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) to create a new R&D centre based at the Tyndall National Institute in Cork, pumping €3.4m into the project in the hopes of advancing silicon photonics from lab to market.

Among the centre’s main tasks are finding ways for data centres to keep up with the incredible demand for bandwidth, which is expected to increase sharply in the coming years.

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic