Safran has announced an equity investment in Cailabs, a French technology start-up specialized in optical beam shaping.
Safran has announced an equity investment in Cailabs, through Safran Corporate Ventures, its corporate venture subsidiary dedicated to investments in innovative technology companies.
Founded in 2013, Cailabs is a spinoff from the Kastler Brossel Laboratory (a joint research unit between the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Pierre et Marie Curie University and French national scientific research agency CNRS), specialized in quantum physics and optics. Cailabs has developed a patented disruptive technology, called Multi Plane Light Conversion, based on the manipulation of light.
The company designs and sells photonic products, including components, modules and subassemblies for the telecommunications and industrial laser markets. Cailabs has already developed two main applications: spatial multiplexing for telecommunication networks (very-high-speed long-range networks, and short-range multimode fibre networks), and for high-power industrial lasers, used for welding, cutting, surface treatment and additive manufacturing.
Data transmission requirements on aircraft are increasing steadily, because of connectivity demand from passengers, increased data exchange between onboard computers (health monitoring) and upcoming requirements for flight safety and security.
Fibre-optic networks are starting to be deployed on latest-generation aircraft (Airbus A380 and A350, Boeing 787), but face specific challenges compared to traditional terrestrial optical fibres because of the fragility of conventional optical fibres, and aviation certification requirements.
Safran Electrical & Power is working with Cailabs on optical fibre-based development projects for next-generation wiring systems, with several potential business cases under consideration."
After seed investment of €3.5m from early stage funds such as Innovacom and Starquest, along with business angels, Safran led a new round of financing of €5m, subscribed by Safran Corporate Ventures and existing shareholders. This round enables the company to bolster its industrial and commercial development, and support international expansion.
Along with this transaction, Grégoire Aladjidi, Head of Safran Corporate Ventures, will join the Cailabs Board of Directors.