PICadvanced (PICa), a Portuguese developer of optics and photonics solutions for telecom applications, has raised a €4 million Series A led by Verizon Ventures, with support from 200M Co-investment Fund managed by PME Investimentos.

Founded in 2014 and based in Ílhavo, Portugal, PICa has been developing optoelectronic transceivers for a new telecommunications network standard called NG-PON2 (Next-Generation Passive Optical Network 2). Driven by a need for more capacity and service flexibility for 5G, next-generation network standards such as NG-PON2 are forecast to reach over $2 billion in total market size in 2024, up from about $250 million in 2019.

The technology could improve the performance and lower the cost of broadband access for everyday users. In 2018, Verizon announced it began testing the new network standard. By working with PICa, the telecom giant will be able to deliver more bandwidth at a lower cost per bit, which could be used to support business services and wireless backhaul on the same fiber as residential services.

“The technology is modern and limitless — it can be applied to various network standards, allowing performance and lower cost for delivering broadband network access to end customers,” said Samy Ben Aissa, managing director at Verizon Ventures.

“PICa works to identify new optics solutions for many industries — like telecommunications,” co-founder Antonio Teixeira said in a statement. “We’re excited to work with the team at Verizon Ventures to solve for next-generation optical access and learn from the experts on Verizon’s network team.”

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