Auden AG invests in ViaLight Communications
Berlin – 6. February 2017
- Auden AG has committed EUR 2.4 million in the pre-IPO financing round for ViaLight Communications GmbH, making it the company’s largest institutional investor
- ViaLight Communications, a spin-off of DLR, Germany’s national centre for aeronautics and space research, leads in the commercialisation of laser-based communications for aerospace purposes, the key enabling technology for telecommunications networks of the next generation, the “internet in the sky”
- IPO anticipated in summer of 2017 at a significantly higher valuation, with international investor group consisting of funds, family offices and strategic investors
- First “special situations” investment to be completed by Auden AG
With its commitment of EUR 2.4 million, Auden AG is leading a pre-IPO financing round for ViaLight Communications GmbH, the world’s leading player in the commercialisation of laser-based communications, a key enabling technology for the next generation of telecommunications networks.
Around the globe, data transmission volumes continue to grow relentlessly, while demand grows ever greater for internet connectivity which is not only ever faster but, even more importantly, omnipresent. For this reason, various leading technology corporations, along with national governments and telecommunications industry consortia, have been striving to create an “internet in the sky”, upon which these players can construct their own globe-spanning data networks. Regardless of whether the technology is to be deployed across unmanned drones, aircraft, high-altitude balloons or satellites, and regardless of whether the objective is internet connectivity to the rest of the world or the internetworking of global supply chains – all of these concepts require laser-based communications as the essential technology to enable global telecommunications networks in the stratosphere and beyond.
The technology from ViaLight Communications – the product of more than 20 years of scientific and engineering work by DLR, Germany’s national centre for aeronautics and space research, from whom rights have been assigned – makes it possible to securely network satellites and other high-altitude platforms at extremely high data rates. At the time of the company’s original spin-out in 2009, some EUR 50 million had already been invested into the basic research for this ground-breaking technology – from DLR itself as well as through European and German government research funding.
“With its products, ViaLight is ideally positioned to profit from the current boom in telecommunications networking high in the sky – and it’s a perfect example of the strength of Germany’s researchers and engineers, creating leading-edge technology which is unique in the world market,” says Christofer Radic, Chief Executive Officer of Auden AG. “The company has already been able to win over several major North American corporations who are key players in this area. This is highly significant because it’s becoming ever clearer that laser-based communications is now the key new enabling technology for the telecommunications networks of the future. After careful consideration of all of these factors, we made our decision to take a major position, acting as lead investor in the current financing round at a company valuation of EUR 33 million. Because ViaLight is one of very few companies anywhere in the world with proven products already now on the market, we are confident that its IPO this summer can be realised at a valuation of roughly the double of our entry point. Furthermore, the company should already reach break-even in 2018. In the course of our investing activities,” continues Radic, “we regularly come around highly promising companies which, for one reason or another, fall outside the core business of Auden, which is investing in high-potential start-up ventures – for example, because the opportunity is in a late-stage financing round, or the deal size is too large. There are, however, the occasional opportunities which fit with our investing strategy very well, in terms of market, growth potential and deal size, and where we can also very quickly create value-added. That was the case here, where we are able to apply all of our capital market experience and contacts in support of the company’s forthcoming IPO. This being the case, we are delighted to be able to participate in such special opportunities, even if our investment portfolio will continue to be centred around early-stage start-up ventures in the digital economy.”