Investments in Innovative Technologies
Advanced Materials, Nanotechnology, Green Chemistry and Green Industry (Cleantech)
Trends and Characteristics of the Venture Capital Market, Startup Companies
and Leading Corporations
Part III – Investments in Companies
Dr. Dov Reichman
The Israeli company StoreDot was established in 2012 and is engaged in development of organic chemicals for energy storage, batteries, sensors and LCD screens.
The company designates its solutions for rapid charging of smartphones, charging electric cars, as well as additional applications based on chemical synthesis of advanced nano materials for achieving unique optical and electric properties.
As was reported by the Geektime site, the company raised 18 million dollars during August 2015, with Samsung ventures, Roman Abramovich’s Norma Investments Limited Fund and the Singulariteam Fund participating in the round of investment enlistment.
At present the company has raised a total sum of 66 million dollars, while in its last investment round it raised 42 million dollars from the Singulariteam Fund (www.geektime.co.il).
A sum of 15 million dollars was invested in the Cnano Company that develops and manufactures Carbon Nano Tubes (CNT) designated for lithium batteries and other electronic applications.
The 12 leading startup companies mentioned in the report published by the London Environmental Investment Forum are developing innovative technologies for a wide variety of industries, among them, petroleum, gas, steel, chemicals, data, food and medicine, and in the last two and a half years have raised approximately 150 million dollars from venture capital funds and corporations in their fields of endeavors.
Slips Technologies, an American company, is developing materials for coatings that repel the adhesion of liquids and solids, and it raised an investment of 3 million dollars from the BASF Company in 2014. Nanotechnology Now , the Internet site published a list of 117 relevant entities for investments in nanotechnology, among them venture capital funds, private investors (Angels), incubators and manpower companies specializing in the field.
A number of investments in companies in the field of advanced materials were made by OurCrowd based on the equity based crowd funding model.
Approximately $1.5 million was invested in the HighCon Company that is engaged in the integration between digital printing and carton packaging, and the investment was made in partnership with Benny Landa and Marathon Investments.
About $0.9 million was invested in the Muv Company that is engaged in transforming any surface into a touchscreen.
Approximately $0.4 million was invested in the Consumer Physics Company that develops a molecular optic sensor for diverse uses. The investment was made in partnership with Khosla Venture and a number of Angels.
Nano Dimension, an Israeli company established in 2012, is engaged in advanced 3D printing of electronics, including a printer that produces printed electronic circuits, as well as development of nanotechnology based ink products.
The company received the support of the Chief Scientist for conductive ink production to the extent of NIS 3.7 million.
The company signed a licensing agreement with the Hebrew University (Yissum, Technology Transfer) for the technology developed by Prof. Shlomo Magdassi from the Chemistry Institute, for conductive ink based on nano silver particles, and also for the printers market in the field of electronic circuits and in addition can manufacture and sell nano silver to the smartphone market, vehicle manufacturers and additional markets.
Nano Dimension entered the stock exchange by means of the Z.B.I. stock exchange framework in August 2014 and reported a number of capital raising rounds from private issuances. Capital raised in the last round stood at about NIS 53 million in which private investors and funds from Canada, Britain, the United States and Israel participated.
Merck, the German chemical corporation recently acquired Qlight Nanotech, which was established on the basis of Hebrew University Prof. Uri Banin’s technology. The company was established in 2009 and from its founding cooperated with the Merck Company, which had invested in it during 2012 and 2013, and in addition, the company had received support from the Chief Scientist at the Economy Ministry, as well as from the Jerusalem Development Authority and the Jerusalem Municipality.
Qlight develops materials and applications based on semiconductor nano crystals.
Merck develops products based on semiconductor nano crystals for use in display screens and LED based lighting devices, and as the CEO of Yissum stated, this is an excellent example of the vision of an application that transforms academic innovation into innovative products, as well as creating an employment opportunity in Jerusalem in particular, and in Israel in general.
An additional example of the cooperation between the Yissum Company’s innovative technology and the scientific incubators is the MercuRemoval Company, which was founded in 2015 after the investment of the Hutchison-Kinrot Incubator and the Economy Ministry’s Chief Scientist.
The company was granted a license for use of the technology, developed by Prof. Yoel Sasson from the Hebrew University’s Chemistry Institute, for the removal of mercury emissions at coal-burning power stations. This technology is of prime importance in preventing air pollution and for advancing green chemistry.
In the field of advanced materials, additional connections between industry and the academic world, consisting of an important layer in investments being made at present in advanced technologies, are noteworthy.
An agreement signed between Hebrew University’s Yissum Technology Transfer Company and Israel Chemicals extends the cooperation in research and development of advanced materials, and the products of this cooperation were presented by Israel Chemical’s VP for Technology at a convention that took place in 2015, dealing with technological innovations in energy and the environment.
The new research cooperation includes a research agreement in advanced materials and 3D printing developed by Prof. Shlomo Magdassi of the Casali Institute of Applied Chemistry, the Institute of Chemistry and the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, as well as research and a license for the invention in the field of solar energy made by Dr. Lioz Etgar from the Chemistry Institute at the Hebrew University.
These inventions join the continuing cooperation between Yissum and Israel Chemicals Innovation, the technological incubator of Israel Chemicals and Israel Chemicals Industrial Products. The cooperation began in 2014 in the field of Sol Gel, which Prof. David Avnir of the Hebrew University’s Chemistry Institute is researching.
According to these agreements, Israel Chemicals Industrial Products shall have the option to receive exclusive rights for any invention that may result from the joint research.
To expand and give more substance to the overall picture of the investments in companies connected with advanced materials and nanotechnology, the following are examples of the extent of capital raised for startup companies according to data emerging from the CrunchBase database www.crunchbase.com:
Name of Company
Development of porous hybrid organic and inorganic materials for semiconductors and electronics
7 rounds of capital raising; 2 investors
Last capital raised about $3M in 2014
Nano materials for use in composite materials
6 rounds of capital raising; 3 investors
Last capital raised about $0.75M in 2015
Nanotechnology, manufacture of Graphene, conductive polymers
About $5M in 2015
One round of capital raising
Nanotechnology, Quantum Dots
About $0.5M in two rounds
Stock issued in 2008
Development and manufacture of conductive ink for the electronics industry
2 rounds of capital raising; 1 investor
Last capital raised about $0.5M in 2014
Development of thermoset ceramic materials
2 rounds of capital raising; 1 investor
Last capital raised about $0.5M in 2013
Dynamic Defense Materials
Advanced protective materials
2 rounds of capital raising; 3 investors
Last capital raised in 2013
Equity Crowd Funding
WaterFord Battery Systems
2 rounds of capital raising
Last capital raised about $1.3M in 2015
Blue Water Technologies
Solutions for water treatment and energy conservation
2 rounds of capital raising
Last capital raised about $0.1M in 2013
Materials for LED lighting, conductors for touchscreen and applications for electronics
About $4M in 2013