Xponent Wraps Up $18M
Xponent was founded in 2000 to develop ring-resonant modulators, which would extract wavelengths from a WDM stream. As the Internet bubble collapsed, the company changed its focus.
Now it concentrates on adding surface-mount photonic chipsets to other vendors' lasers and detectors. To wit, the company has developed a two-chip manufacturing process that removes the painstaking, manual laser alignment that is normally required in producing photonic components (see Xponent Cuts Packaging Xpenses).
[Ed. note: Man, this is some seriously dry stuff. Can't we just have more funny links or something?"
The 50-person startup is shipping samples of its chips right now. A couple of potential customers are running the chips through qualifications that could be completed by year's end, the company says -- a fact that was likely enticing to investors.
This most recent investment round included only existing investors: El Dorado Ventures, Morgenthaler, U.S. Venture Partners, and Walden International Investment Group.
The venture capital firms didn't prod Xponent to bring a new investor into the game, which is unusual these days, given the abundance of wash-out rounds and other indicators of plummeting valuations. Their decision stemmed from the structure of the company's $16 million Round B, which closed in September 2001 with both Walden and Morgenthaler joining in. Walden was the lead investor then, but Morgenthaler and Walden both wanted a bigger slice of the company than they nabbed early on. "Everybody left the 'B' round a little bit hungry," says Jeff Rittichier, Xponent CEO.
— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading