Albuquerque Journal

OptiPulse launches crowdfundi­ng campaign

Startup’s wireless tech offers fast connectivi­ty

- BY KEVIN ROBINSON-AVILA JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

Albuquerqu­e-based startup OptiPulse Inc. is inviting public investment in the company’s breakthrou­gh wireless technology through a crowdfundi­ng campaign on WeFunder.

The company has developed novel optics technology that uses proprietar­y high-power laser chips to beam wireless data across a new type of network in urban and rural areas at speeds potentiall­y up to 100 times faster than most current commercial services, according to the company. OptiPulse has already proven the technology in a pilot project at Central New Mexico Community College’s main Albuquerqu­e campus.

It’s now seeking $1 million through WeFunder to finish developing and deploying its first “minimal viable product” for commercial use. The crowdfundi­ng campaign will go live on Wednesday, March 3.

Minimum investment­s start at $100 to buy OptiPulse stock priced at $2 per share, said company CEO John Joseph.

“Assuming we reach the $1 million target, we could raise the goal to $5 million later on,” Joseph said. “This WeFunder campaign reflects our vision of inviting direct public participat­ion in the developmen­t of a totally new type of network communicat­ions rather than a small number of high-wealth investors directing things.”

Unlike today’s wireless communicat­ions through cellphone towers, OptiPulse uses compact transceive­rs, or nodes, mounted across cities or communitie­s that directly beam high-speed internet back and forth. Any end user who wants to can then hook into the node network.

The transceive­rs are powered by OptiPulse’s proprietar­y laser chips, which provide low-cost but lightning-fast optical communicat­ions between the network nodes starting at 10 gigabits per second. That, in turn, would allow end users to access the network at speeds of 1 GBPS or more.

The company will first offer its network nodes to telecommun­ication providers to help them lower costs when constructi­ng their networks, by leapfroggi­ng over environmen­tal obstacles like rivers, highways or train tracks when laying fiber-optic lines. Those first sales will raise revenue for OptiPulse to begin more broadly deploying its technology in urban and rural areas for direct public access to new community wireless networks built with company technology, said OptiPulse Chief Operating Officer Mathis Shinnick.

OptiPulse, which launched in 2015, previously raised $3.6 million from institutio­nal and angel investors. But other companies have had significan­t success through WeFunder, encouragin­g OptiPulse to try crowdfundi­ng too, Shinnick said.

To date, nearly 600 companies have collective­ly raised about $230 million through WeFunder, according to the crowdfundi­ng site. The Meow Wolf artists collaborat­ive in Santa Fe, for example, raised $1.3 million in August 2017.

“Crowdfundi­ng has taken on a whole new dynamism to raise equity,” Shinnick said.

For more informatio­n, see OptiPulse’s WeFunder investor pitch at https:// wefunder.com/optipulse.

 ?? ADOLPHE PIERRE-LOUIS/JOURNAL ?? John Joseph of Optipulse pictured in 2018 with a prototype of his wireless technology.
ADOLPHE PIERRE-LOUIS/JOURNAL John Joseph of Optipulse pictured in 2018 with a prototype of his wireless technology.

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