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BASF Venture Capital invests in U.K. laser marking company


02/15/07 - BASF Venture Capital GmbH, Ludwigshafen, Germany, is investing in DataLase Ltd, Widnes, UK. DataLase has developed printing technologies that use a laser to create images for product identification on packaging materials such as paper, plastic and metal.

DataLase has raised £4.9 million in its Series B financing round, of which BASF Venture Capital is providing £1 million (approximately €1.5 million). Other investors include MTI Partners and Hotbed. DataLase will use the proceeds from the financing round to expand its marketing and sales activities in the United States, as well as to further invest in R&D and expand its product range.

DataLase has a range of patented coatings and additives that react and change color with the simple use of an infrared laser. This process allows images such as barcodes or date codes to be quickly and cost-effectively applied to a range of packaging materials. The absence of ink or printing ribbons considerably reduces the contamination risk to food. German dairy company Müller, for example, prints dates and lot codes on U.K.-produced yogurt containers using DataLase’s technology. DataLase’s marking technology can also be used for anti-counterfeiting applications ranging from identity badges to labeling.

“Our investment in DataLase represents an opportunity for both companies to interact in different business areas,” said Eike Houben, investment manager at BASF Venture Capital. “BASF’s know-how in coatings and pigments can help DataLase develop a marking technique to record important information for a wide range of applications.”

BASF Venture Capital GmbH was established in 2001 as a wholly owned subsidiary of BASF Future Business GmbH, Ludwigshafen, Germany. It participates in startup companies and funds by providing venture capital to open up new growth potentials. In doing so, it focuses on companies with innovative business models and technologies in which chemistry is an important key to success. Investment is channeled toward companies that can demonstrate successful applications for their product developments as well as market demand. BASF also supports these companies with its expertise.

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products and fine chemicals to crude oil and natural gas. As a reliable partner to virtually all industries, BASF’s intelligent system solutions and high-value products help its customers to be more successful. BASF develops new technologies and uses them to open up additional market opportunities. It combines economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility, thus contributing to a better future. BASF has over 95,000 employees and posted sales of more than €42.7 billion (approximately $50.4 billion) in 2005. Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at


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