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Optical MEMs Start-up Gets $3.5M Seed Funding

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Aeponyx to redefine next generation telecom technology with ultra fast optical switch technology

Aeponyx, a Canadian developer of optical switches based on silicon photonics and planar micro-electrical-mechanical-system (MEMS), has received additional seed financing of CAD 4.3 million (~ $3.5 million) to help it bring its technology to market.

The funding was led by Fonds Innovexport and Ecofuel Fund, in collaboration with private investors. The funding, aggregated to the California-based incubator Silicon Catalyst's in-kind contribution and to some government financing, completes Aeponyx's total investment of CAD 10 million (~$8 million) for ramp-up of production by 2019.

Designed for fibre optic access to the cloud, the company's switch technology is claimed to be 100 times faster, ten times cheaper and ten times smaller than the 3D MEMS used in commercial products within data centres.

"Aeponyx has exceptional potential to revolutionise fibre optic communications and to accelerate the transition to the new, faster and more efficient global NG-PON2 standard," said Richard Bordeleau, president of Fonds Innovexport. "The Aeponyx team, led by CEO Philippe Babin, is impressive," added Bordeleau. "Philippe was able to rapidly build a strong network of partners and investors to support Aeponyx's growth."

"Aeponyx is a tangible example of how an energy efficient innovation can have a positive impact on the environment," said Richard Cloutier, managing partner of the Ecofuel Fund. "We are happy to partner with Aeponyx and work with Philippe and the management team to build on this momentum to execute the company's business plan."

Based in Quebec City, Fonds Innovexport invests in start-up companies headquartered in the Province of Quebec and dedicated to the development and commercialisation of innovative products or services with strong export potential. Innovexport comprises twenty-five experienced entrepreneurs, as well as the Government of Quebec.

Ecofuel is a venture capital fund and accelerator dedicated to cleantech startups. Co-founded by Cycle Capital, it is sponsored by Investissement Québec, acting as mandatory of the Government of Québec, BDC Capital, the investment arm of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Fondaction, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ and the Centre Québécois de valorisation des biotechnologies (CQVB).

Silicon Catalyst is an incubator/accelerator focused exclusively on solutions in silicon. It supplies startups with facilities, a path to funding, tools, networking and marketing acumen to successfully launch their companies' novel technology solutions.

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