FibeRio, the developer and manufacturer of ground breaking Forcespinning nanofiber production systems, has completed a $13 million capital raise led by two global strategic investors—SABIC Ventures B.V., Saudi Basic Industries Corporation’s corporate venture capital arm, and Aster Capital Partners, sponsored by Solvay, Schneider Electric, Alstom and the European investment fund. The funding will be used to accelerate the company’s commercial growth, introduce larger scale production systems to the market and execute on a growing pipeline of orders and global opportunities with industry leading customers.
“The support of two of the leading, knowledgeable strategic investors in this space, SABIC and Aster Capital, is a strong validation of the uniqueness of our Forcespinning technology and will help the company accelerate our growth, open new markets and enable new applications for all of our customers” comments Ellery Buchanan, CEO of FibeRio. “This collaboration will greatly accelerate our vision of the Forcespinning process becoming the world’s leading, cost effective process to produce nanofibers at scale never before achieved.”
Forcespinning is a disruptive, platform technology which enables leading manufacturers to produce nanofibers on a truly commercial scale in a cost effective way using a wide range of polymers and an environmentally sensitive process. Forcespinning is the only fine fiber production system capable of both melt and solution spinning from lab scale to full industrial scale production. Unlike electrospinning, Forcespinning does not require materials to contain certain dielectric properties for processing which limits the materials that can be produced into fiber. Nanofiber applications are used in a variety of markets including filtration, nonwovens, battery separators, textiles, biomedical and conductive applications.
Hans Kolnaar of SABIC Ventures comments “FibeRio’s unique processing technology not only increases our market reach, but offers SABIC an opportunity to move further down the value chain with innovative fibers for our customers.”
“We view the cost effective production of nanofibers at scale as a key technological focus for the nonwovens marketplace for a wide variety of applications in the filtration, energy, medical, hygiene and textiles markets. Thanks to our sponsor, Solvay, we were able to validate that FibeRio has a unique breakthrough technology to accelerate nanofiber growth for all levels of production. We are excited to partner with a company that will be driving the deployment of nanofibers for the foreseeable future” comments Pascal Siegwart and Todd Dauphinais, partners at Aster Capital in a joint statement.
The combined breadth of resins represented by SABIC and Aster cover everything from commodity polymers such as polypropylene and nylon to high performance materials including fluoropolymers, polysulfones, polyethylene imines, and liquid crystal polymers among others. A number of these materials have never been made into nanofibers before and can offer materials performance advantages to FibeRio Forcespinning equipment customers. FibeRio, SABIC and Solvay will all benefit through the integration of a wide range of resins with Forcespinning technology.
FibeRio’s existing shareholders also participated in this financing round, including the University of Texas System - UT Horizon Fund, the University of Texas - Pan American, the State of Texas, Silverton Partners and Cottonwood Technology Fund I. As part of this financing, James Wilson, of SABIC’s Innovative Plastics Strategic Business Unit, and Todd Dauphinais of Aster Capital will join the FibeRio board of directors.