February 25, 2013 | McAllen, TX – FibeRio, the developer and manufacturer of ground breaking Forcespinning® nanofiber production systems, today announced it has completed a $13M 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” commented 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 commented “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” commented 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.
FibeRio Technology Corporation provides the technology and capital equipment to transform the materials market through the unlimited availability of cost effective nanofibers. Founded in 2009, the company has already delivered several large scale industrial Forcespinning units to industry leading customers across the globe. The company is headquartered in its manufacturing facility in McAllen, TX. For more information, please visit www.fiberiotech.com or call 956-207-5448.
About SABIC Ventures
SABIC Ventures is the global corporate venture capital arm of SABIC, based in the Netherlands. Its primary goal is to seek out innovative technologies and businesses consistent with the company’s global strategy. Its investment focus includes functional materials, alternative feed stocks for chemicals and materials and alternative energy technologies. SABIC Ventures invests directly in seed stage, early stage and late stage companies.
For more information, please visit www.sabic.com/ventures
Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) ranks among the world’s top petrochemical companies. The company is among the world’s market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.
SABIC recorded a net profit of SR 29.24 billion (US$ 7.80 billion) in 2011. Sales revenues for 2011 totaled SR 189.90 billion (US$ 50.64 billion). Total assets stood at SR 332.78 billion (US$ 88.74 billion) at the end of 2011.
SABIC’s businesses are grouped into Chemicals, Polymers, Performance Chemicals, Fertilizers, Metals and Innovative Plastics. SABIC has significant research resources with 16 dedicated Technology & Innovation facilities in Saudi Arabia, the USA, the Netherlands, Spain, Japan, India and South Korea. The company operates in more than 40 countries across the world with around 40,000 employees worldwide.
SABIC manufactures on a global scale in Saudi Arabia, the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific.
Headquartered in Riyadh, SABIC was founded in 1976 when the Saudi Arabian Government decided to use the hydrocarbon gases associated with its oil production as the principal feedstock for production of chemicals, polymers and fertilizers. The Saudi Arabian Government owns 70 percent of SABIC shares with the remaining 30 percent held by private investors in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
For more information, please visit www.sabic.com
About Aster Capital
Aster Capital is a leading energy and environment technologies focused venture capital firm sponsored by Schneider Electric, Alstom and Solvay, global leaders in the energy and chemicals industries, and the European investment fund through the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme. They have jointly invested in Aster’s second $135 million investment fund. With a total of $200 million under management, Aster aims to proactively leverage the expertise of these sponsors to support its portfolio companies in their further development. Aster Capital has offices in Paris, San Francisco, Shanghai, Tel Aviv and Tokyo.
For more information, please visit www.aster.com
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