Edinburgh-based startup bags £1.2M to commercially develop ultrafast lasers


Since early 2020, several industries including travel and hospitality have been hit badly all over the world. Likewise, the pandemic has also left a dent on laser manufacturers too. To combat challenges placed on laser manufacturers by COVID-19, Edinburgh-based ultrafast laser manufacturer Chromacity has developed a remote installation capability for its optical parametric oscillators (OPOs).

In a recent development, the company announced it has completed a growth funding round of £1.2 million. The round involved existing investors – Kelvin Capital, EOS and Scottish Enterprise, as well as new investor ESM Investments.

The company will use the funding to expand its workforce, particularly within its manufacturing and R&D divisions. Also, the funds will be used to accelerate this activity, particularly in Asia

Shahida Imani, CEO of Chromacity, said: “This new funding will enable us to expand our team and accelerate Chromacity’s growth, both commercially and technologically. We are seeing significant traction with major industrial companies in China and Japan, who are very interested in the high average power and broad wavelength coverage of our systems, and it’s important we are funded to accelerate growth and capitalise on these opportunities.

“We’re delighted that our existing investors have continued to support us in our mission to revolutionise fundamental research and industrial applications with a new generation of affordable ultrafast lasers, equipped with plug-and-play functionality. It’s also a great pleasure to welcome ESM, who will be a key investment partner in our future success.”

Ian Stevens, Chromacity’s non-executive chairman, said: “Chromacity has continually demonstrated that, not only does it have the disruptive technology needed to drive new ultrafast laser applications, but that it can also innovate its business model in the face of challenging circumstances, such as a global pandemic. With this funding round, the company’s investors, both new and old, have recognised these qualities and the significant opportunity that exists to bring ultrafast laser technology into new, and as-yet untapped, markets.”

Founded in 2013 by Christopher Leburn and Carl Farrell, Chromacity develops ultrafast fibre lasers for a wide range of scientific and industrial applications. Its portfolio includes a remote installation capability for its optical parametric oscillators (OPOs).

Chromacity is among the first to achieve this installation methodology for these complex optical systems, enabled by its novel, IP-protected laser architecture and manufacturing expertise. This has supported Chromacity in its acquisition of new customers across the world during the pandemic.