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September 30, 2014

Google pours $38m in Chinese startup InnoLight

High-speed optical transceiver data centre networks around the corner.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Google has invested $38m in Chinese tech firm InnoLight.

The search giant’s one-year-old venture capital arm, alongside Lightspeed China Partners, co-led a Series C funding round for the startup, which builds high-speed optical transceivers for servers.

The funding marks Google’s first investment in China, and second in the greater Asian market after it agreed to lead a $100m investment in Thumbtack.

InnoLight’s optical transceivers covert electrical signals into optical signals, which are then moved from server to server via fiber-optic cables, then converted back into electrical signals.

The six-year old company, based in Suzhou with offices in the US and Taiwan, said it will use the funding to bolster its production capacity as it puts part of its efforts into the cloud storage market.

Gene Frantz, General Partner of Google Capital, said: "InnoLight’s technology is uniquely suited for next generation data center environments, and its vision and execution have been excellent. As Google Capital’s second investment in Asia and first in China, InnoLight illustrates the kind of company and management team we seek to support."

James Mi, Managing Director of Lightspeed China Partners, added: "InnoLight has experienced dramatic growth during the last three years, nearly doubling revenue every year. We are now a leader in 40Gbps optical transceivers and a first mover in 100Gbps solutions.

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"With the Series C investment, we will continue to strengthen our technology leadership and expand productive capacity to support the rapid growth of the cloud computing industry," said Dr. Sheng Liu, Chief Executive Officer of InnoLight.

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