December, 5th 2013. San Sebastian, Spain – Graphenea (www.graphenea.com), a graphene producer company, has received a $1.36 million investment (€1 million) from Repsol Energy Ventures in a co-investment scheme with the CDTI Innvierte venture capital fund.
The investment is structured as a capital increase that reinforces Graphenea’s equity and capability to lead the emerging graphene production industry. The funds will be used to accelerate its business plan towards industrialization.
Graphene is a new nanotechnology material formed of a single layer of carbon atoms that has outstanding optical, electrical, thermal and mechanical properties. Graphene materials are widely used in research and development of disruptive energy storage and generation technologies, advance materials and electronics.
Graphenea is a leading startup in the emerging graphene production market. The company produces graphene films by Chemical Vapor Deposition and graphene powders by Chemical Exfoliation technologies developed by the company. Materials produced by Graphenea are used for the development of batteries, supercapacitors, solar cells and thermal management materials just to mention a few energy related applications. Graphene materials are also used as polymer additives and advanced composites
Graphenea has developed a very competitive, scalable and environmentally-friendly production process. The company is already supplying graphene materials to large multinationals and is a partner in the $1,36 billion Graphene Flagship European Union initiative.
Graphenea strategy is to focus on graphene production. The company has a pilot plant in the CIC nanoGUNE nanotechnology research center in San Sebastian and partners with large enterprises to introduce graphene materials into the value chain.
Nowadays, graphene materials are mainly used for research and development. The graphene market was just $9 million (€6.6 million) in 2012 and industry analysts estimate a $100 million (€73.5 million) market in 2018.
“Repsol provides a valuable opportunity that will help us bring our innovative materials to industrial markets. It is more than just an investment – we are gaining access to markets and strategic assistance that will enable us to enter into an industrial scale phase.” – Jesus de la Fuente, Graphenea founder and CEO.
The Bilbao office of the law firm Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (www.gomezacebo-pombo.com), with a team led by Rosana Hallett (Mercantile Area), has advised Graphenea on the transaction.
The startup technology company employs 11 people; founded by a nanotech private investors group led by Jesus de la Fuente, the nanoGUNE Research Center, and venture capital fund Seed Gipuzkoa. Graphenea has doubled its revenue annually since it was launched.
Currently the company has a production plant at the CIC nanoGUNE research center in San Sebastian, with a graphene production capacity of 150,000 square centimeters per year. Since its founding, Graphenea has created relevant Intellectual Property rights due to its investment in research and development. This factor has allowed the company to keep a technology leadership position in this global market.
Repsol is an integrated global energy company with vast sector experience. It carries out Upstream and Downstream activities throughout the entire world and employs more than 23,000 people.
The main aim of the New Energy unit is to identify opportunities, promote projects and carry out business initiatives in spheres such as biofuels, renewable generation and sustainable mobility. Repsol also supports the development of high-tech companies through investments by their Corporate Venture Capital
Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial (CDTI)
The Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI) is a Public Business Entity, answering to the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, which fosters the technological development and innovation of Spanish companies. It is the entity that channels the funding and support applications for national and international R&D projects of Spanish companies.
CDTI has signed a coinvestment agreement, INNVIERTE, with Repsol New Energy for investing in Spanish SMEs of a strongly technological nature.
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