Vixar Raises $2.5M in Series B Funding from Phoenix Venture Partners

Series B financing will assist in commercialization of the company’s VCSEL products for the industrial, medical, and consumer electronics markets.

Plymouth, MN, April 30, 2012: Vixar, a supplier of high performance, energy efficient, optoelectronic components and subassemblies, raised $2.5M in Series B financing from Phoenix Venture Partners (PVP).

Vixar specializes in components and custom subassemblies of a type of semiconductor laser known as a VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser).  These devices enable miniaturization and improved energy efficiency for wireless industrial and medical sensors, the reduction in size and cost of medical diagnostic equipment for personalized medicine, and higher speed, lower cost links for consumer based networks and equipment.  The Series B funding allows Vixar to put in place the personnel and processes required for expanding our strategic partnerships, customers, and scaling our production capability.

“We are very excited about the investment by Phoenix Venture Partners.  The firm brings a wealth of experience in the market space and a valuable set of strategic partner relationships. Their participation is expected to provide significant assistance in market development, as well as solidifying our supplier and partner networks to achieve long-term success” commented Mary Hibbs-Brenner, CEO of Vixar.

“Vixar’s proprietary technology allows its customers to design enabling products with improved performance attributes or footprints that were previously difficult to achieve.  The characteristics of the technology enhance current trends toward miniaturization, power-efficiency and personalization of devices and open up new markets for VCSELs.  We are excited to be able to assist Vixar and its outstanding team in its goal of becoming the premier supplier of VCSELs to the industrial, medical and consumer electronics markets” commented Dr. John Chen, General Partner at PVP.

Dr. Chen will become a member of the Vixar Board of Directors.  He joins Dr. Frank Levinson and Mr. Peter Davis, current angel investors in the company, on the board.  Both Dr. Levinson, founder of Finisar, and Mr. Davis, founder of Infinity Precision, are successful entrepreneurs, and have provided invaluable guidance in preparing Vixar for this next step.

Previously, several locally and nationally based angel investors, as well as local angel investment groups, including Twin City Angels, Sofia Angel Fund, and the 3C Capital Partners participated in the Series A financing.  The company has been successful in leveraging the Series A funding with government R&D grants and customer development funding to establish the unique, patent protected technology and demonstrate its value in customer applications.   The company is now poised for significant growth as these technology developments transition to production.

“The Series A investors are pleased with the progress made by the company since our initial investment.  Vixar has established the base technology and positioned the company for growth by earning design wins with several customers in the industrial and medical sectors” said Mr. Davis.  “We are delighted to join forces with PVP to achieve the next step in commercial success.


About Vixar

Vixar is an early-stage start-up located in Plymouth, MN.  Vixar manufactures high performance, cost-effective Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) products emitting at wavelengths ranging from 660 to 1850nm. VCSEL based components and subassemblies provide improved performance, size and energy efficiency for sensor and device applications within the biomedical, industrial, office product, military, automotive and consumer industries.

Vixar was founded in 2005 by Dr. Klein Johnson and Dr. Mary Hibbs-Brenner.  Drs. Johnson and Hibbs-Brenner were previously instrumental in establishing the VCSEL business at Honeywell serving the high speed fiber optic data communications market.

For more information regarding the company’s technology and products visit


About Phoenix Venture Partners

Phoenix Venture Partners (PVP) is a leading venture capital firm that invests in and partners with entrepreneurs to commercialize breakthrough materials science innovations.  PVP’s team has a track record of founding, building and investing in successful materials science start-ups.  The firm’s investment strategy is flexible and predicated on assisting entrepreneurs with customer and supply chain partnerships, business development, as well as strategic and operational support.  PVP collaborates with a select set of forward-looking corporations on business development and innovation interests.  PVP is based in Silicon Valley with satellite offices in Singapore and Cambridge, MA.  For more information please visit


Media contact:

Wade Campbell

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