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 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬4.7 million) in its Series A financing
round, of which BASF Venture Capital is providing $2 million (approximately ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬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
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬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.”