ApNano Materials raises $5m

The company is planning an IPO in 2006, and will establish a plant to manufacture its nanotechnology-based solid lubricant.

ApNano Materials, a provider of nanotechnology-based products, today announced that it has raised $5 million in its second round of financing from European private investors.

The company is negotiating additional investment of $1 million, which will complete the second round of financing to a total of $6 million, at a post-money valuation of $22 million.

Professor Stefan Csillag from the University of Stockholm, an international expert in nanomaterials and electron microscopy, was appointed by the new investors as their representative to the board of directors.

“The money raised will be used to construct a pilot a semi-industrial manufacturing plant, which will produce 150 kg a day of ApNano’s first product - NanoLub, the world's first nanotechnology-based solid lubricant, which significantly improves the performance of moving parts,” said ApNano Materials chairman Aharon Feuerstein.

“The pilot is the first step toward the establishment of a plant which will produce tons of NanoLub lubricant a day,” said Feuerstein. “Despite the fact that the company was founded only 30 months ago, it has already received indicated demand for 1,000 tons annually, for specific applications, valued at approximately $50 million. The company is planning on going public to raise money to establish the plant, during 2006."

Founded in 2002, ApNano Materials commercializes a revolutionary scientific discovery: nano-spheres and nanotubes of inorganic compounds that were discovered at the Weizmann Institute of Science.

The company develops additional products based on these innovative nanoparticles, including catalysts for the oil refining industry, and composites which are stronger than most known energy absorbent material, such as bullet-proof materials.

ApNano Materials president, CEO and co-founder Dr. Menachem Genut was a co-discoverer of the novel inorganic nanostructures as a member of the Weizmann Institute’s nanomaterials synthesis group headed by Prof. Reshef Tenne.

Genut said today that in the future, the company will manufacture inorganic nanotubes for advanced products which might be used to replace silicon and to have many additional potential applications including semiconductor devices, sensors, biosensors, and nano-motors.

ApNano Materials' first round of funding was in April 2002, when $3 million was raised from Newton Technology VC Fund. The shareholders of ApNano Materials, besides the founders, are Newton Technology, Yeda Research and Development Co. LTD. (the commercial arm of the Weizmann Institute of Science), AYYT Technological Applications and Date Update LTD. (the commercial arm of Holon Academic Institute of Technology, Israel) and private investors.

ApNano Materials was recently selected as a Top 100 Innovator by Red Herring and has been named by InnovationWORLD as one of the 21 companies that are poised for growth in the 21st century. The Volkswagen group has included ApNano Materials products in its automotive nanotechnology program.

ApNano Materials is headquartered in New York, USA. Its fully-owned Israeli subsidiary - NanoMaterials, Ltd., is located in the high tech science park adjacent to the Weizmann Institute campus in Rehovot.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on Wednesday, January 26, 2005

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