DustPhotonics, maker of optical connectivity devices, nabs Intel Capital funds

The VC arm of Intel Corp. leads $25 million B funding round that will help startup further develop products and expand global market presence

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

The DustPhotonics team; Sept. 2019 (Courtesy)
The DustPhotonics team; Sept. 2019 (Courtesy)

DustPhotonics, a maker of pluggable high-speed optical transceivers and cables for data centers and high-performance computing connectivity, said it has raised a Series B investment of $25 million led by Intel Capital, the VC arm of tech giant Intel Corp.

The investor is joined by VC firm WRVI Capital, and the round also includes continued investment from semiconductor entrepreneur Avigdor Willenz, who in 2000 sold chip maker Galileo to Marvell Technologies for $2.7 billion.

The money raised will help DustPhotonics further develop its the next generation products and expand its operations and global market presence, the Modiin-Maccabim-Re’ut-based startup said in a statement.

“Our optical transceiver products address the key and challenging requirements for hyperscale applications, and we will also leverage our electro-optic technology in high-density, future architectures,” said Ben Rubovitch, CEO and co-founder of DustPhotonics, in the statement.

As data rates double with every successive generation, so does the complexity for meeting demands for lower cost, lower power and higher reliability technologies that allow better performance, the statement said.

“High speed optical connectivity is essential to enabling the performance and scale of today’s data centers,” said Hong Hou, vice president of the Data Center Group and general manager of the Silicon Photonics division at Intel. “The DustPhotonics products complement our leading optical transceiver portfolio.”

DustPhotonics was founded in 2017 and has offices in Modiin, Israel, and Cupertino, California.

Intel Capital, the venture capital arm of US tech giant Intel Corp., said in April it was growing its Israel team to further invest in Israeli startups and companies, having poured some $120 million into 14 Israeli ventures over the course of 2018.

Since setting up operations in Israel in 1974, Intel has made cumulative investments and acquisitions of over $35 billion in Israel, as of April 2019, and has grown into the largest private sector employer in the tech industry with over 11,000 employees.

Intel is also behind the largest single exit for an Israeli company to date, having acquired the Jerusalem-based firm Mobileye, a maker of advanced driver assistance systems, in 2017 for a record $15.3 billion.

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