Integrated Graphene Ltd, the Scottish-based tech company, has fired the starting pistol on scaled production of its unique breakthrough 3D graphene foam, Gii, following the completion of a £3.1 million round of investment in the business, led by Edinburgh-based business angel syndicate, Archangels, with co-investment from Par Equity, Techstart Ventures and ESM Investments.
Graphene is said to be 100 times stronger than steel, very light, extremely flexible and a highly efficient conductor of electricity. Consequently, graphene's properties have the potential to improve a wide range of applications. For further information see the IDTechEx report on Graphene, 2D Materials and Carbon Nanotubes: Markets, Technologies and Opportunities 2019-2029.
From its Stirling base, Integrated Graphene has developed an innovative manufacturing process that enables the company to produce high performing, pure, 3D graphene (3DG) foam directly onto any surface, at room temperature and in seconds. It believes that this will meet the key requirements of a worldwide graphene market, estimated to be worth US$1.6 billion by 2025, growing to as much as US$6 billion by 2030. Integrated Graphene's process is anticipated to create high quality, cost effective and production scale 3DG foam, Gii, which has not been achieved by anyone else to date.
Graphene is expected to have applications in human diagnostics, power storage, electronics, solar power (photovoltaics) and water filtration amongst others. However, existing manufacturing methods make it extremely expensive to produce in large quantities and quality consistency has been an issue.
3DG foam is deemed to be the most desired and application-diverse form of graphene, due to its porous, large, electrochemically active surface area that enables a step change in performance in a wide range of applications.
The £3.1 million investment in Integrated Graphene was led by Archangels and included funding from Par Equity, Techstart Ventures and ESM Investments. A number of Integrated Graphene's original seed investors also participated. The cash will be used by Integrated Graphene to fund equipment to demonstrate product performance at the next scale-up level and to significantly expand resource for commercialisation of its 3DG foam, Gii.
Claus Marquordt, co-founder & CEO of Integrated Graphene, said "We are very pleased to have the continued support of our seed investors who have helped us shape and scale this revolutionary business from an idea to commercial launch ready. With this latest round of investment, we are scaling up commercialisation and production of Gii. We have now successfully launched our first product, Gii-Sens, into our beachhead market of Human Diagnostic Biosensors. Ultimately, this funding round will enable us to capitalise on being first to market world- wide with high performing, cost effective, application-specific 3D Graphene Foam, enabling better products."
Marco Caffio, co-founder & CSO of Integrated Graphene, said: "We invented our process by focusing on answering the question of how to obtain the desired performance of 3DG foam within applications at commercial scale and without cost barriers. By maintaining a design-for-manufacture focus from day one, we have achieved this. It is our vision to enable disruptive product innovators across industry to access our Gii technology to enable better products. This round of investment will catapult our manufacturing scale up and commercial reach. I am excited to have launched our first product, Gii-Sens, which along with our development services is helping diagnostic manufacturers translate their tests from the laboratory to the point of need."
Niki McKenzie, Joint Managing Director at Archangels, said: "The mass production of high-quality graphene at a commercially attractive price has long been seen as the holy grail in this sector and Integrated Graphene has the potential to lead the world in this arena. We are confident that, with supportive shareholders, the business can take the next step in its ambition to scale up its manufacture of this invaluable material."
Aidan MacMillan, Investment Manager at Par Equity, said: "Integrated Graphene is exactly the type of company we like to back. A strong management team with cutting edge, scalable technology addressing global markets. The historical challenges of mass-producing graphene are well known, but this new technology has the potential to unlock this wonder material for multi-purpose applications. Investing through the Par EIS Fund and the Par Investor Network, we're incredibly excited to support Integrated Graphene."
Robert Richmond, Investment Director at Techstart Ventures, said: "Claus and Marco's deep-domain expertise and commercial instincts impressed us from our first interaction. We are thrilled to be supporting this round."
Steven Morris, founder and Chairman of ESM Investments Ltd, added: "Graphene was first extracted from graphite in 2004, and has shown great promise but has yet to be successfully commercialised at scale. Claus and Marco and the team at IG now have a great opportunity to put this right and show the world how, and at scale, graphene can be used to transform products across a large number of industry sectors. ESM is delighted to be part of the story this far and we look forward to reading about IG's successes in years to come."
Callum Spreng Spreng Thomson
9th November, 2020
Tel: +44 (0)141 548 5191
Mob: +44 (0)7803 970103
Graphene is a ground-breaking two-dimensional (2D) super material that possesses extraordinary electrical and mechanical properties that offer the material to a plethora of innovations and enhanced applications.
To learn more, please visit https://news.integratedgraphene.com/blog/what-is-graphene-why- is-it-so-good
About Integrated Graphene
Integrated Graphene is an advanced material supplier that has invented, patented and commercialised a revolutionary design for manufacture process to produce high performing pure 3D graphene foam, Gii, on any surface, in seconds. Integrated Graphene tailors and enhances Gii for specific applications to enable disruptive manufacturers across industries to access pure 3D graphene foam and develop products of the future, today, within each market. Integrated Graphene has already launched Gii-Sens which enables laboratory tests to be translated to the point of need within the human diagnostics market; and the next product launched will be Gii-Cap, a pure 3D graphene foam supercapacitor which enables smart power for the life of a product.
To discover more, please visit www.integratedgraphene.com .
Archangels is a prominent business angel syndicate which has been at the forefront of early stage investing in Scotland for more than a quarter of a century. Originally formed in 1992 and based in Edinburgh, the syndicate now comprises 130 investor members and leads investment of around £10m per year in early stage Scottish companies, including leverage from partners, the largest being the Scottish Investment Bank. Archangels is interested in Scottish technology companies that are looking for initial funding of £50,000 to £2m. In addition, Archangels welcomes new investors to its syndicate.
Par Equity is a leading venture capital firm, based in Edinburgh, investing in innovative technology companies in the North of the UK, with high growth potential. Since it was founded in 2008, Par Equity has invested more than £80m across 60 companies, leveraging a further £125m of capital from third party investors. Par's investment thesis is to combine the professionalism and rigour of a venture capital manager with the skills and expertise of a broad base of individual investors who can add value throughout the investment life cycle. This investment approach has produced strong and consistent returns 21 realisations to date. Most recently Par won the "Highly Commended" award in the Best EIS Fund Manager category at the 2020 EIS Association Awards.
Techstart Ventures is a leading investor of seed capital across Scotland and Northern Ireland. We are a trusted partner to ambitious founders on their journey to success. In Scotland, Techstart Ventures LLP manages the Scottish Growth Scheme - Techstart Ventures Equity Finance LP Fund - which has been financed by support from the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund from the 2014-20 European Structural Funds Programme in Scotland.
Source: Integrated Graphene