Menhir Photonics at full momentum

The Zurich based startup Menhir Photonics, the provider of ultrafast laser solutions, has successfully sold its products to multiple customers in Europe, USA and Asia, resulting in 300% more revenues since 2020. The company follows a growth trajectory that emphasises increasing sales, growing the customer base and increasing their product applications.

Menhir Photonics’ flagship product, MENHIR-1550 SERIES, is the first industrial-grade femtosecond laser and a stable mode-locked oscillator that produces clean sub-200 fs pulses centered at 1550 nm. It features very low phase noise and can be configured to operate at several repetition rates that reach the industrial quality required by customers. Furthermore, the product is offered in a robust and hermetically sealed housing, which is unprecedented.

“Our lasers can be seen as an ultra-precise “optical clock” bringing precision much beyond what electronics can offer to fields and applications requiring it. Many parts of our daily lives need faster and better precision; however, electronics are reaching a limit that photonics can easily overcome. We provide the reliable and robust photonics sources that will serve this purpose”, acknowledges Florian Emaury, co-founder and CEO of Menhir Photonics.

The solution is suitable for various applications such as in research, industry, space (connecting satellites), creating better radars for drone detection, getting faster Internet and telecommunications, or developing new tools to measure greenhouse gases from satellites.

Bootstrapped and thriving
Since the product release in 2019, Menhir Photonics has sold multiple dozens of its products worldwide in countries like the USA, China, Korea and across Europe. In addition to direct distribution through Menhir Photonics, the company collaborates with its distribution partners to bring the product to the UK, Russia, France, USA, Canada, Korea, Japan, Russia,  China/Singapore, Israel, Spain and Portugal. Customers range from research to aerospace and industry.

With the increasing demand for its products, Menhir Photonics has generated over 300 percent more revenues since 2020, bringing the company on the profitability path for further growth. The bootstrapped company has also demonstrated its growth with its team size, which grew from three to eight collaborators since 2020. Two additional vacancies remain to be occupied by January next year passing the 10 full-time employees limit already in early 2022.

Laser systems are, in general, expensive and complicated products that require considerable skills to be integrated into a full and reliable system, explained Florian Emaury, Co-founder and CEO of Menhir Photonics. The startup has already simplified access to lasers by providing a reliable and easy-to-use product. The next plan is to automate the production of the MENHIR-1550 over the next years as this will allow for serving more markets. The agenda includes the development of further applications with partners, focusing on the reliability of the product and its easiness to integrate into a full system.

With more employees and growing demand, Menhir Photonics has entered its new offices in Zurich where activities such as design, production, testing are being conducted. This step affirms the company’s independence as it strives to bring its solutions to customers with faster cycles.

Eurostars funded project
Over the next two years, Menhir Photonics and its partners will be working on a Eurostars funded project. The CHF 1 million project aims to extend the lifetime of Menhir Photonics’ product from three to ten years in order to support their development into industrial and demanding markets.

(Ritah Ayebare Nyakato)