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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Amy Foschetti
Interprose PR
Phone: + 1 (703) 917-0972
[email protected]

NanoOpto Secures $16-million in Venture Financing, Offers Vision of New Physics and New Economics for Optical Communications

Nano-Optics and Nano-Manufacturing Technology Promises Integrated Optical Systems with Orders-of-Magnitude Performance and System Cost Advantages

Somerset, New Jersey. December 3, 2001. NanoOpto Corp., which is applying proprietary nano-optics and nano-manufacturing technology to design and make components for optical networking , announced today that it has closed a $16-million Series “A” round of venture financing. The funding comes from four venture capital firms; Bessemer Venture Partners, Morgenthaler, New Enterprise Associates, and U.S. Trust’s Excelsior Venture Partners III, LLC. Bessemer and Morgenthaler led the round. Bessemer Managing Partner Rob Soni and Bessemer Partner Glenn Falcao assume board seats along with two Morgenthaler Ventures general partners, Greg Blonder and Gary Shaffer.

NanoOpto’s technology is based on 20 years of multi-million dollar research in nano-optics and nano-manufacturing technology conducted by Stephen Y. Chou, Elgin Professor of Engineering at Princeton University and Chairman of NanoOpto.* Dr. Chou’s research has resulted in the invention of various subwavelength optical elements and proprietary nano-manufacturing technology that can produce nano-optical components on a chip. Dr. Chou co-founded NanoOpto in mid-2000 and, with an engineering team, began scaling up manufacturing and developing product prototypes. NanoOpto has already shipped prototype components to prospective customers for testing. The company is currently completing a full-scale fabrication facility at its Somerset, New Jersey, headquarters that will permit volume manufacture by mid-2002.

“Most of today’s conventional telecommunication components are based on bulk optics, and have to be assembled individually and manually,” says Dr. Chou. “Nano-optics, or subwavelength optical elements, interact with light based on entirely new physical principles, thereby allowing optical processing to be done on a much smaller scale and perform new functions that bulk optics cannot. Combined with NanoOpto’s proprietary nano-manufacturing capability, which is essential for commercialization of nano-optic components, the results are communication components on a chip that are manufactured in volume with wafer-based processes. This result has revolutionary potential for the industry.”

NanoOpto is pleased to have the support of some of the most experienced, well-regarded venture capital investors in the world,” says Barry Weinbaum,* who assumed the role of President and CEO in August 2001 after a 21-year career at Lucent Technologies. “They recognize the breakthrough potential of NanoOpto’s combination of unique, high-value optical components and patented nano-manufacturing technology.”

The beauty of subwavelength optical technology is that it is a platform technology with great potential to transform optical communications. At the same time we can readily apply it to add significant new features, functionality, and properties to many of today’s standard optical products and rapidly prototype new capabilities,” continued Weinbaum, “NanoOpto’s optical components introduce disruptive technology in a non-disruptive manner. We plan to leverage this capability by developing, manufacturing, and marketing our own optical components, as well as by partnering with customers to create highly differentiated integrated optical components.”

About NanoOpto
NanoOpto Corp. is applying proprietary nano-optics and nano-manufacturing technology to design and make components for optical networking. Based on years of research, the company’s technology allows orders of magnitude more rapid prototyping, higher performance and lower overall system cost. Both on its own and with corporate partners, NanoOpto will use subwavelength techniques to produce better conventional optical components and also to create new classes of integrated components. The company’s development of patented nano-imprint lithography techniques forms the basis for high volume manufacture at its facility in Somerset, New Jersey. The company has received financial backing from leading venture capitalists.

About Bessemer Venture Partners
Bessemer Venture Partners, with offices in California, Massachusetts and New York, is the leading national, early-stage venture capital firm in communications technology and Internet infrastructure. The firm manages more than a billion dollars of venture funds, carrying on a tradition of hands-on, active venture investing that has continued since 1911. Many leading-edge communications companies, including Cascade, Ciena, Parametric, QED, Sirocco, Sonus Networks and VeriSign selected BVP as their early-stage venture partner. For more information, visit

About Morgenthaler
Morgenthaler, a leading venture capital and buyout firm, was founded in 1968. The firm focuses on early-stage technology investments as well as middle-market management buyouts. It has funded over 180 companies in its 33-year history, including two of the last decade’s highest-performing IPOs: Microchip Technology (1993) and Premisys Communications (1995). Current representative portfolio investments in communications include optical and wireless components companies such as Agility Communications, Lightwave Microsystems, and Peregrine Semiconductor as well as systems companies such as Catena Networks and TimesTen. With its new $850-million fund raised earlier this year, the firm has a total of just under $2.0 billion under management. The firm’s Web address is

About New Enterprise Associates
New Enterprise Associates (NEA) is a leading venture capital firm investing primarily in information technology, biotechnology and medical/life sciences companies. Practicing classic venture capital for over 20 years, NEA focuses on early stage investments, playing an active role in assisting management to build companies of lasting value. With $4.9 billion under management, NEA’s experienced management team has invested in over 400 companies, of which more than 135 have gone public and more than 150 have been acquired. For additional information, visit

About U.S. Trust’s Excelsior Venture Partners III, LLC
Excelsior Venture Partners III, LLC, is the newest private equity fund managed by the Private Equity Division of U.S. Trust. The fund was raised in May 2001 with an investment focus on information technology, communications, life sciences and information services. The Private Equity Division manages two other funds: UST Private Equity Investors Fund, Inc. and Excelsior Private Equity Fund II, Inc. The Division manages $400 million across all three funds. For additional information, visit

Note to Editors: For more information on Dr. Stephen Chou and Barry Weinbaum see NanoOpto’s executive appointment announcement issued December 3, 2001.

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