BASF Venture Capital increases stake in U.S. nanotech company SDCmaterials
BASF Venture Capital GmbH, Ludwigshafen, Germany, is increasing its shareholding in SDCmaterials, Inc, Arizona, U.S. SDCmaterials develops and produces innovative nano materials for customers in the automotive and chemical industries as well as for the medical technology sector.
SDCmaterials has raised $6.3 million (approximately €4.7 million) in its Series A financing round, of which BASF Venture Capital is providing $2 million (approximately €1.5 million). Other investors include Emerald Technology Ventures. BASF Venture Capital’s U.S. subsidiary invested $600,000 in a seed financing round last year in SDCmaterials. SDCmaterials, which was founded in July 2004, will use the proceeds from the financing round to increase its workforce, and expand production capacity in the U.S. and Germany.
The American start-up’s materials are used primarily for advanced catalysts and advanced ceramic materials. Using a method where materials are evaporated in an electrically-generated plasma, SDCmaterials can produce several grams of a wide range of nano powders within a very short time, and thus support customers in significantly reducing development times of catalysts or inorganic materials. By up-scaling its process to ton scale, SDCmaterials can offer its customers large quantities of nano materials in a constant quality.
“We are very pleased to have won BASF and Emerald as well as two private groups as investors in SDCmaterials”, said Dr. Maximilian A. Biberger, CEO of SDCmaterials. “These investors are excellent partners to support SDCmaterials’ catalyst and nano materials.”
“This investment fits in well with our own focus on nanotechnology – one of BASF’s five research growth clusters,” said Dirk Nachtigal, managing director of BASF Venture Capital. “We wish to further strengthen our position in the field and use nanotechnology wherever it offers advantages over conventional products and processes.”
BASF has an ongoing program at its Schwarzheide chemical site in Germany through which small, independent companies are able to lease commercial space and use established manufacturing infrastructure. SDCmaterials will take advantage of this program and plans to start small-scale production of nano materials in September 2008. The American start-up will invest roughly €3 million in establishing pilot plant stations, laboratories and offices in the northern part of the site.
“Our site in Schwarzheide provides SDCmaterials with an excellent base to capture the European markets,“ said Dr. Volker Knabe, Managing Director of BASF Schwarzheide GmbH. “SDCmaterials’ location decision also backs up BASF’s claim to offer more than just capital to start-up companies.”
BASF Venture Capital GmbH was established in 2001 as a wholly owned subsidiary of BASF Future Business GmbH, Ludwigshafen, Germany and participates in start-up companies and funds. In doing so, it focuses on companies with innovative business models and technologies in which chemistry is an important key to success.
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 high-value products and intelligent system solutions help its customers to be more successful. BASF develops new technologies and uses them to meet the challenges of the future and open up additional market opportunities. It combines economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility, thus contributing to a better future. BASF has approximately 95,000 employees and posted sales of €52.6 billion in 2006. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA), New York (BF) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.
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