Astrape secures €1.6 million to develop photonic-powered sustainable data centre

Astrape Networks, an innovative technology startup specialising in integrated photonics for the development of faster and more sustainable optical networks, has successfully secured €1.6 million in pre-saeed funding. This funding round was led by a consortium of esteemed investors and loan providers, including Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij (BOM), Rabobank, Brabant Startup Fonds, TTT Smart Industries, SHIFT Invest, and PhotonDelta.

This strategic investment empowers Astrape to advance its technology, aimed at revolutionising the future of data centres and optical networks. The company’s focus lies in the utilisation of Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) to construct data centres that are not only faster but also cooler and significantly more energy-efficient.

In a world where the demand for data continues to surge, with over 5 billion Internet users expected in 2023, the challenges of cost and energy efficiency loom large. Conventional data networks entail frequent conversions between electronic and optical signals, resulting in substantial energy consumption.

Astrape Networks is on a mission to address this issue by minimising electrical-optical conversions, reserving optical conversions primarily for the network edge. At present network speeds, this innovative approach is estimated to yield energy savings of approximately 20%. As network speeds continue to advance, the potential for energy savings could soar to around 60%. This strategic funding marks a significant step towards realising these ambitious goals and reshaping the landscape of optical network technology.

Astrape Networks CEO, Francesco Pessolano, said, “With the first investment, we will be able to demonstrate the technology in a relevant environment, taking it from laboratory scale to engineering scale. This will show that the technology is viable and keeps its performance and power saving promises in an industrial setting.

“The investment is key for building a strong core engineering team in networking and photonics that will enable us to develop further towards our first product.”

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