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OptiPulse launches crowdfunding campaign

John Joseph of Optipulse pictured in 2018 with a prototype of his wireless technology. (Adophe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — 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 cell phone 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.

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