Stirling tech business raises funds to develop breakthrough graphene manufacturing process
Integrated Graphene Ltd, a Scottish-based tech company, is to scale up production of its 3D graphene foam, Gii, following the completion of a GBP3.1 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.
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 USD1.6 billion by 2025, growing to as much as USD6 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 GBP3.1 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, says: “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, says: “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, says: “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, says: “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, says: “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, adds: “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.”