2002-019

The Carlyle Group and Target Partners Lead €10 Million Investment in Next-generation Assembly Technology Start-up

London and Munich - Global private equity firm, The Carlyle Group, together with international venture capital firm, Target Partners, have led a second round of financing for Cube Optics AG. Cube Optics has developed a next generation assembly and manufacture platform, which allows mass-manufacture of low cost and miniaturized components for data and telecommunications networks.


Seed funded by STAR Ventures and Sevin Rosen Funds, Cube Optics raised this new €10 million financing round to extend its product range and gain further market traction. The investment is being made through Carlyle's €650 million European venture capital fund, Carlyle Europe Venture Partners, and Target Partner's €112 million early stage fund based in Munich, Germany, and includes follow-on investments from existing investors Sevin Rosen Funds, STAR Ventures and several private investors.


Cube Optics' unique packaging and assembly platform makes it possible to mass-produce optical devices that cost less and are up to 100 times smaller than current devices on the market. With this technology, Cube Optics can produce a broader range of optical components that include all the market's usual specifications and are small enough as well as cost-effective enough for systems integrators to use in a wider range of situations than is currently economical.


"We have been through extensive R&D and our technical solutions are unique, state-of-the-art and, most importantly, add significant value for systems vendors," said Dr. Thomas Paatzsch, CEO of Cube Optics. "This investment round will help us to really drive further product developments and enforce our international distribution strategy."



Cube Optics' assembly and packaging platform makes use of a unique materials processing technology called Polymer Optical Bench (POB), which enables automated low cost production of a broad range of fibre optic components. The company's platform will initially be used on CWDM (Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing) components, which increase capacity of metropolitan access and enterprise networks, Cable TV networks and terrestrial networks for 3G telephony..


"We are satisfied that Cube Optics' outstanding technology was able to attract Carlyle and Target Partners as new top tier investors even in this difficult environment. Cube Optics is an excellent example of STAR Ventures' continued commitment to European high-tech investment opportunities of outstanding quality," explains Anthony Maher, partner with STAR Ventures and member of the board of directors of Cube Optics.


"Our investment in Cube Optics shows our long term commitment to high technology companies with a strong growth potential," says Waldemar Jantz, who lead the investment for Target Partners and joins the board of directors of the company. "Cube Optics convinced us of the compelling benefits they provide to their customers and of the uniqueness of their technology".


The investment in Cube Optics is Carlyle's first investment in the material sciences sector in Europe. Dr. Wolfgang Hanrieder joined Carlyle as a managing director in March 2002 and now co-leads the venture fund's European team of investment professionals, of whom three, including Dr. Hanrieder, hold PhDs in physics and computer science. The fund recently added material sciences to its focus investment sectors, which also include communications technology, software and financial services sectors. Dr. Hanrieder has also taken a seat on Cube Optics' board of directors.


"While the optical market has radically scaled back, an innovative company like Cube Optics demonstrates that the future looks bright," said Dr. Hanrieder. "New areas of applications will continue to emerge based on compact, low-cost components over the coming years. Clearly, it's an anti-cyclical venture investment, which supports Carlyle's broader strategic focus on the communications sector where we have invested more than $1 billion since 1987."


Cube Optics received initial seed funding in the fall of 2000.