The Boston (USA) based startup that originated in Iowa has commercialized Advanced nanoGuard™, a thin-film coating that protects electronics from water damage and harsh environmental conditions. Since its inception, actnano’s revolutionary gel-based waterproofing solution has been adopted by the world’s leading automotive and consumer electronics brands.
Boston, MA, October 13, 2020 – Protective nanocoating company actnano today announced that it has raised $12M in a Series A funding round. Emerald Technology Ventures led the round and was joined by Material Impact, as well as Henkel Tech Ventures, GC Ventures America (PTT Global Chemical), and Ireon Ventures (Hellas Oil).
actnano is setting a new standard for electronics protection with its commercialized water and environmental resistant coating technology, Advanced nanoGuard™ (ANG). The company’s wet ANG coatings can be applied directly on connectors, antennas, LEDs, and high heat-generating components, allowing electronic manufacturers to comprehensively safeguard their devices for the first time. With a scalable, turnkey solution that seamlessly integrates into existing manufacturing lines, actnano is positioned to expand its global footprint with leading automotive and consumer electronics manufacturers. Today the company counts global automotive, electronic vehicle, and consumer electronics OEMs and Tier-1 suppliers as customers, with its ANG technology already integrated into production vehicles and the world’s leading smartphones.
“These days, electronics run the car. We make sure the electronics keep running even after the coffee spills,” said Taymur Ahmad, CEO of actnano. “When automotive electronics like autopilot systems interact with water or other environmental aggressors, the consequences can be dire. We’ve seen little to no innovation in the protective coating category in decades, and with the recent explosion of self-driving and technology-laden vehicles, a better solution was needed. actnano responded, creating a hydrophobic, electrically insulating coating that allows electrical connection through the coating. Since connections have historically had to remain uncoated and thus vulnerable to water damage, this innovation is an industry gamechanger. We are thrilled to add such an impressive investor syndicate to the actnano family. Their collective expertise and experience will be pivotal as we usher actnano in its next phase of growth.”
The funding round comes at a crucial time for the company, as they expand their automotive customer base with OEMs in Germany, Japan, and Korea. Emerald Technology Ventures, a leader in industrial technology investments, is well-positioned to help the actnano team accelerate its market adoption.
“The actnano team has demonstrated rapid technology adoption is notoriously challenging automotive and consumer electronics markets. The combination of their technical performance and strong value proposition is already driving expanding adoption by both OEMs across platforms and Tier-1 customers across applications,” said Neil Cameron, who will join the actnano board from Emerald. “We look forward to working with actnano, our syndicate partners, and our Limited Partners to accelerate market adoption of their innovative coatings,” added Gina Domanig, Managing Partner of Emerald.
In addition to its cost and efficiency gains, actnano’s technology is human-safe, non-toxic, and environmentally sustainable. This is a major departure from existing coating technologies, many of which rely on toxic materials can pose serious health consequences for workers, and are expensive to deploy. Material Impact sees the investment in actnano as core to its thesis of investing in world-changing products enabled by material science innovations.
“As electrification continues to expand into every industry, the need to protect the underlying and enabling circuitry becomes critical,” said Adam Sharkawy, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Material Impact. “We believe the fluid, self-healing coatings developed by actnano are well-positioned to address that fast-growing need.”
As an expert in functional coatings for their Adhesive Technologies business, Henkel Tech Ventures understood the major gap that existed in the waterproof coatings market, and how transformative actnano’s technology could be for Henkel’s global customer network.
“As part of our venturing activities we are looking for novel and scalable formulated technologies providing unique benefits for growing markets”, explains Paolo Bavaj, Head of Corporate Venturing, Adhesive Technologies. “Functional coatings are a major focus topic for our Adhesive Technologies business. We are excited to work with actnano which has developed a conformal coating technology that protects entire printed circuit board systems, responding to the fast-growing demands, especially in automotive electronics and consumer electronics. The technology has already proven its marketability and is commercially available. Together we aim to unlock new opportunities across Henkel´s extensive customer base in these markets globally.”
actnano is setting a new standard for electronics protection with its commercialized water and environmental resistant nanocoating technology, Advanced nanoGuard™ (ANG). The company’s wet ANG coatings can be applied directly on connectors, antennas, LEDs, and high heat-generating components, allowing electronic manufacturers to comprehensively safeguard their devices for the first time. With a scalable, turnkey solution that seamlessly integrates into existing manufacturing lines, actnano is positioned to expand its global footprint with leading automotive and consumer electronics manufacturers. Today the company is a trusted partner to global automotive and consumer electronics OEMs and Tier-1 suppliers as customers, with its ANG technology already integrated into production vehicles and the world’s leading smartphones. For more information, please visit www.actnano.com.
About Emerald Technology Ventures:
Emerald is a globally recognized investment firm and strategic innovation partner, with offices in Zurich, Toronto, and Singapore. Founded in 2000, it has raised five venture capital funds, completed over 400 venture investments in 67 emerging industrial technology leaders, and managed five third-party investment mandates, including for the governments of Switzerland and Singapore. Emerald is a trusted open innovation partner for numerous multi-national corporations, leveraging deep industry expertise and rich global deal flow in the areas of energy, water, industrial IT, advanced materials, mobility, robotics, and agriculture.
About Material Impact:
Material Impact is a venture capital fund that invests in building companies that transform material technologies into products that make an impact on real-world problems. Material Impact is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit http://www.materialimpact.com.
Henkel operates globally with a well-balanced and diversified portfolio. The company holds leading positions with its three business units in both industrial and consumer businesses thanks to strong brands, innovations, and technologies. Henkel Adhesive Technologies is the global leader in the adhesives market – across all industry segments worldwide. In its Laundry & Home Care and Beauty Care businesses, Henkel holds leading positions in many markets and categories around the world. Founded in 1876, Henkel looks back on more than 140 years of success. In 2019, Henkel reported sales of more than 20 billion euros and an adjusted operating profit of more than 3.2 billion euros. Henkel employs more than 52,000 people globally – a passionate and highly diverse team, united by strong company culture, a common purpose to create sustainable value, and shared values. As a recognized leader in sustainability, Henkel holds top positions in many international indices and rankings. Henkel’s preferred shares are listed in the German stock index DAX. For more information, please visit www.henkel.com.
About Henkel, Tech Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of Henkel Adhesive Technologies, established in 2016. Headquartered in Düsseldorf, it functions as a connector between external innovators and Henkel. Through networking, consulting, partnerships, and investments, the unit supports the growth of startups and at the same time enhances Henkel’s new business development efforts. For more information, please visit www.henkel-tech.ventures.
About PTT Global Chemical (GC)
GC is a world-scale petrochemical player with an aggregate capacity of more than 11.2 million tons per annum across various chemical value chains. GC’s businesses span manufacturing and distribution of upstream, intermediate, and downstream petrochemical products serving various industries such as packaging, apparel, communications, electronic equipment, electrical appliances, vehicles, construction materials, engineering plastics, and much more. GC is listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand with assets of more than US$15 billion. For more information, please visit https://www.pttgcgroup.com/en.
About GC Ventures America
GC Ventures America is the corporate venture capital arm of GC. It serves as a strategic investor and partner leveraging the breadth of GC’s resources and business footprint to help startups scale. The investment thesis includes advanced materials, digital platforms, biotech, life sciences, and cleantech. The corporate venture unit invests globally with offices located in Boston, MA, and Bangkok, Thailand. For more information, please visit https://gcinternational.com/cvc/.
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