Sentec sells holding in Polatis for 4.5 million


24-01-2001

Cambridge techno consultancy Sentec has sold part of its holding in optical spin-off Polatis for 4.

5 million.



Polatis, the third company created by Sentec, was formed just six months ago. As part of a first funding round, Sentec has transferred part of its holding to a team of venture capitalists and Andrew Dames, Polatis boss.



Sentec was formed three years ago with the idea of coming up with new technologies then creating spin-out companies to develop them.



HoloTag and SmartBead are the other two to date. Polatis is involved in fibre optic switches and is working on how to transmit data around global networks without losing speed and capacity.



The company is tackling what is known as 'bandwidth bottleneck'.



Mr Dames said: 'It is every new start-up's dream to attract backing from a powerful venture capital syndicate.



'Polatis was set up with the aim of developing a key component of the 'Holy Grail' for next generation communication networks.



'Investment from VCs Alta Berkeley and 3i prove there is confidence in us achieving just that.'



The market Polatis is targeting is estimated to be worth $0.3 billion, growing to $5 billion by 2003.



Both VCs seem pleased with their investment, with Laurence Garrett, investment director at 3i saying there is huge potential, and Tim Brown at Alta Berkeley saying: 'It is not unexpected to find at the centre of a Cambridge-based company a brilliant technical innovator such as Andrew Dames. We're delighted to be able to add financial muscle.'