Astrape Networks acquires funding for sustainable datacenter
Astrape Networks – an innovative tech startup that uses unique integrated photonics to build faster and more sustainable optical networks – has secured a pre-seed funding round of €1.6 million from a consortium of investors and loan providers. The consortium includes Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij (BOM), Rabobank, Brabant Startup Fonds, TTT Smart Industries, Shift Invest and PhotonDelta.
The demand for data centers worldwide is escalating rapidly, driven by the ever-increasing needs of over 5 billion internet users in 2023. However, cost and energy efficiency have remained significant challenges. Existing data networks rely on multiple conversions between electronic and optical signals, consuming substantial amounts of energy in the process. Astrape Networks aims to address this energy inefficiency by minimizing electrical-optical conversions, opting to convert to optical signals only at the network edge.
Astrape Networks’ solution is based on advanced photonics technology, which uses multi wavelength channels and advanced control signaling to transmit data through fast circuit switching. This approach, which was initially showcased in 2021 by TU/e researchers, is expected to result in an estimated energy savings of up to 20% at current network speeds, with the potential to increase to approximately 60% as network speeds continue to advance.
"We acknowledge that the transition towards quantum secure networks has to be a gradual one"
Idelfonso Tafur Monroy | Founding father of this testbed
“This investment is key for building a strong core engineering team in networking and photonics that will enable us to develop further towards our first product.”
Astrape Networks CEO, Francesco Pessolano
Faster, cooler and more energy efficient
The €1.6 million investment means that Astrape can begin to develop the technology needed to drive the data centers and optical networks of the future, specifically the use of Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) to build faster, cooler and more energy efficient data centers.
‘This investment is key for building a strong core engineering team in networking and photonics that will enable us to develop further towards our first product,’ Astrape Networks CEO, Francesco Pessolano, said. ‘The funding will enable us to demonstrate the technology in a relevant environment, taking it from laboratory scale to engineering scale. This will show that the technology is viable and keeps its performance and power saving promises in an industrial setting.’
Being the result of years of research and development at TU/e, Astrape was launched in 2022 through a venture building program by Europe’s premier deep tech venture builder HighTechXL and PhotonDelta, with support from The Gate. ‘This investment is an important endorsement for the photonics venture building program set up by HighTechXL and PhotonDelta,’ Laurens Weers, Chief Financial Officer at PhotonDelta commented. ‘The joint program enables startups working with integrated photonics – such as Astrape Networks – to get off the ground, create new use-cases for the technology and strengthen the Netherlands’ position as a world leader in integrated photonics.’
More information: www.astrape.net