April 16, 2002 — Somerset, N.J.-based NanoOpto, which makes optical light beam management components, has just secured part two of its first round, or Series A round of venture funding.

New investors include two Draper Fisher Jurvetson funds and Harris & Harris Group. Matching investments were provided by existing backers Bessemer Venture Partners, Morgenthaler Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, and U.S. Trust’s Excelsior Venture Partners III. The participating Draper Fisher Jurvetson funds are DFJ New England and DFJ Gotham.

Total venture funding for the firm now totals $20 million. The money will be used to beef up marketing activities.

NanoOpto components manage and direct light beams in optical networks by combining, separating or organizing the light and directing it through various nanoscale filters. The company uses its proprietary fabrication process to make these filters.

“We expect to accelerate the pace of new product introductions and ensure a smooth landing at the other end of the runway in 2003,” said CEO Barry Weinbaum. “Our cash position is now secured well into 2003. The summer appears to be a tough time for many startups who will need additional funding rounds.”

NanoOpto no longer has any concerns about raising money, along side these startups, in such a tough market. The company closed part two of this round on identical terms as its first part and got a slight boost in valuation, Weinbaum said.

There will be more announcements about sales, profitability and new products in the coming months, he added.

— Jo McIntyre


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