French Optical Communications Company Raises €8 Million

RENNES, France, October 3, 2019 (Cailabs PR) – French deep-tech company Cailabs wrapped up a new € 8 million [$8.8 million] fundraising campaign led by Supernova Invest with the participation of Definvest, the Ministry of the Armed Forces fund managed by Bpifrance ; Safran Corporate Ventures, lead investor in 2017; as well as Innovacom and Starquest Capital, its long-standing investors. With this funding, Cailabs has the necessary resources to rapidly develop its three main product lines at both an industrial and commercial level.

“Cailabs implements unique technologies in the field of photonics, whose military applications are numerous and very promising. It was therefore essential that the Ministry of Defense takes part in this fundraising, via the fund Definvest operated with Bpifrance,” said Florence Parly, French Ministry of Defense, who visited the company earlier today.

Since its creation in 2013, Cailabs designs, manufactures and sells innovative optical components.

The company has stood out in the world of telecom from the very beginning by developing a one-of-a-kind technology that controls the shape of light within an optical fiber in order to increase performance. Cailabs’ technology is able to carry data at speeds up to 1,000 times faster on existing fibers. Their technology has also been used to attain several world records (including that of transmission capacity through a single optical fiber with the Japanese operator KDDI).

Now the owner of a range of disruptive technologies that are the subject of 19 patent families, Cailabs offers four product lines1 serving local networks, industry 4.0 and the aerospace and telecom industries.

“Cailabs has achieved commercial success in networks, and is now facing a massive global deployment challenge, in terms of both production and sales channels. With our Crédit Agricole Innovation and Territory (CAIT) fund, accompanied by its partners from the Crédit Agricole Group, UNEXO and Crédit Agricole Ille et Vilaine expansion, we are providing the company with the means to succeed in this challenge, while continuing to expand the product range of this unique technology platform,” says Julien Cristiani, Partner at Supernova Invest and Director of the CAIT Fund.

Funds for structuring and strengthening the industrial and commercial development of the product portfolio

“Our development strategy aims to strengthen and multiply our design-win by promoting a commercial action based on Cailabs’ technical excellence. With the maturation of product lines made possible by previous funding, and the increase in production volume, Cailabs is entering a new era that requires strengthening in the areas of sales, support and operations,”  explains Jean-François Morizur, President of Cailabs.

Bolstered by the confidence of its investors and granted this new round of funding, Cailabs will accelerate the industrial and commercial development of its three flagship products worldwide, and boost its integration projects. By this, it intends to:

  • Recruit new talent to strengthen its sales and technical teams.
  • Strengthen its commercial presence in North America to boost the network infrastructure of its customers, including factories, military bases, hospitals, universities.

The signing of distribution agreements in 2019 provided Cailabs with an increased commercial presence and unprecedented logistics platform for its expansion projects in North America, where Cailabs made its first sales in 2018.

  • Allow its industrial customers to very quickly evaluate the contribution of the Cailabs technique to their laser machining processes, thanks to the establishment of a platform dedicated for this purpose.

Cailabs will be able to meet the industrial requirements of major automobile and aircraft manufacturers seeking to boost the quality and speed of their machining processes (welding, additive manufacturing, laser cutting, etc.)

This phase of technical and commercial acceleration goes hand-in-hand with negotiations with several companies to distribute the solution worldwide.

  • Continue its commercial development to improve communications in space (between satellites for example)

With the recent sale of its first system to NASA, Cailabs confirms the relevance of its product to key players in the international aerospace market.

  • Consolidate its collaborations with leading manufacturers to provide unique solutions and disruptive products, such as the partnership initiated with Safran in 2018 and expanded in 2019, aimed at transferring Cailabs’ technology to aeronautical cabling.

“The light-shaping technology developed by Cailabs provides an additional degree of freedom that paves the way for some very interesting possibilities and performance in terms of available throughput and power. It is potentially applicable to many Defense products incorporating laser technologies, including communications, countermeasures and LIDAR (laser remote sensing), to increase their performance. It is particularly well-suited to embedded uses due to the passive nature of this light-shaping technology,” explains Joël Barre, General Delegate for French Armament.

“We are very proud to participate in this fundraiser for Cailabs, a gem in the world of French deep tech that Bpifrance has been supporting since its inception. By supporting it in a new phase of growth, which should help to accelerate its industrial and commercial development, Bpifrance reaffirms its active role in financing and supporting deep tech companies with high potential,” says Nicolas Berdou, in charge of investment at Bpifrance for the Definvest fund.

We are pleased to continue supporting Cailabs in the deployment of its disruptive optical solutions. Our renewed support reflects the confidence we have in the team and its unique know-how in the world, enabling it to bring innovative optical solutions to major challenges in aeronautics,” adds Florent Illat, CEO of Safran Corporate Ventures.

The law firms Joffe & Associés (Thomas Saltiel, Camille Malbezin, Johann Mendez) and Chammas & Marcheteau (Natacha Vasak, Stéphanie Bréjaud et Lola Chammas) accompanied and advised the parties during this operation.

Cailabs’ product lines:

  • AROONA improves local computer networks at an extremely competitive cost, increasing the capacity of existing optical fibers without having to renew the existing cabling infrastructure.
  • CANUNDA shapes laser beams and improves the productivity of industrial laser machining systems (cutting, welding, additive manufacturing, etc.).
  • TILBA improves the quality of open space optical communications by increasing their range and limiting the influence of atmospheric disturbances.
  • PROTEUS supports R&D telecom teams to invent the optical networks of tomorrow. Since 2018, Cailabs now addresses all possible channels of a commercial multi-mode fiber and thus maximizes the transmission possibilities offered by optical communications, in being able to generate 45 different modes in a single fiber