Modumetal Closes Round of Financing Led by Founders Fund and Fortune 500 Customers
Investment enables Modumetal to expand its manufacturing capacity to meet the growing demand for new class of nanolaminated metals and materials
Seattle, WA – August 25, 2015 – Modumetal, the leading developer and manufacturer of a new class of nanolaminated metals and materials, announced today it has closed an expansion round of investment led by Founders Fund and a group of Fortune 500 customers. The funding will be used to build out Modumetal’s manufacturing capability to support the growing demand by the oil and gas sector – the first market to adopt the technology – for its cost-competitive, ultra-high performance nanolaminated metals.
“Breakthroughs in metallurgy have heralded great advances in the history of our civilization. From the Stone Age to the Iron Age, Bronze Age, and then steel and aluminum, bringing us into the industrialized age,” said Aaron VanDevender, chief scientist at Founders Fund and Modumetal board member. “Modumetal is the next evolution in metal alloys, disrupting a long stagnant industry and enabling a host of new applications.”
Using nano-layering technology, Modumetal is able to produce an entirely new class of metals and materials that are stronger and lighter, more corrosion resistant and durable than conventional steels and alloys. The company’s manufacturing process of nanolaminated metals – think metallic plywood with really thin layers – is also a breakthrough, able to deliver materials at a cost that is competitive with conventional alloys.
“This financing underscores the potential of Modumetal’s patented technology to disrupt a multi-trillion dollar industry,” said Christina Lomasney, co-founder, CEO and president of Modumetal. “We are ushering in an entirely new way to manufacture metals and materials, which can be applied across multiple industries from automotive and construction to aerospace and energy.
“We’re at the dawn of the next age of metals,” said Lomasney, “and along with the support of our investors, partners and customers, we’re transforming the way metal is engineered to dramatically improve its performance characteristics at a scale and cost that is competitive with traditional methods.”
In addition to Founders Fund – the San Francisco-based firm, which invests in cutting-edge companies creating their own sectors – Fortune 500 investors include Chevron Technology Ventures, BP Ventures and ConocoPhillips.
The oil and gas sector – where companies frequently operate in highly corrosive and punishing environments – is the first major market opportunity for Modumetal’s patented class of nanolaminated materials. Today, oil and gas customers have already deployed full-scale trials of Modumetal parts and materials, such as nanolaminated fasteners, pumps, valves and production tubulars, across production fields globally to reduce corrosion and to improve their return on assets.
NACE International, the worldwide corrosion authority, estimates that the United States spends more than 3 percent of GDP to combat the problem of corrosion.
“The cost of corrosion is a US$2.2 trillion problem worldwide,” said Lomasney, “and Modumetal will continue to gain momentum in the oil and gas sector, as well as other markets, as our nanolayered materials greatly reduce corrosion-induced failures and improve return on assets. Our technology is a deployable and cost-competitive alternative to traditional metals that extends longevity and enhances performance and safety in aggressive operating environments.”
Unlike traditional metals and steels, which are heat and energy intensive to produce, Modumetal is able to “grow” metal using an electrochemical process that operates at or near room temperature. This approach allows Modumetal to form resilient, high-performance metal coatings and parts additively – minimizing waste throughout the production process.
Additional investors include Sunshine Tech Limited, Steve Singh, Catamount Ventures, Second Avenue Partners, Goldenseeds and members of the Alliance of Angels. Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc., the leading specialty venture debt financing company, also participated as a debt partner and equity investor.
Modumetal is pioneering the manufacture of a new class of nanolaminated metals with applications across a range of industries including energy, aerospace, automotive and construction. Modumetal’s patented manufacturing approach uses electricity, rather than heat, as its primary energy input, enabling near room temperature operations and unlocking unprecedented materials performance at competitive costs. Modumetal has established partnerships with leading oil and gas, aerospace and technology companies, and the company’s investors include Founders Fund, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Steel Dynamics. To learn more, please visit www.modumetal.com.
About Founders Fund
Founders Fund invests in companies using science and technology to solve the world’s most difficult problems. The firm and its partners have been early backers of some of the most prominent companies of the past decade, including Airbnb, Facebook, Palantir Technologies, and SpaceX. Founders Fund pursues a founder-friendly investment strategy that provides maximum support with minimum interference. More information can be found at www.foundersfund.com.
About Chevron Technology Ventures
Chevron Technology Ventures pursues business solutions and technologies with the potential to improve Chevron’s base business operations by finding, sponsoring and demonstrating emerging technologies, and championing their integration into Chevron to improve business value. The Venture Capital Team invests in companies at any phase in the development cycle – from providing early-stage seed investment to offering capital for full-scale commercialization – and helps transfer the technology into the business.
About ConocoPhillips Technology Ventures
ConocoPhillips Technology Ventures invests in great business ideas. Through Technology Ventures, ConocoPhillips invests in innovative companies and provides them with capital to develop their technologies. Some of these technologies have the potential to improve the company’s exploration and production performance. Others offer the opportunity to adopt early breakthrough emerging technologies.
About BP Ventures
BP Ventures identifies and invests in private, high growth, game-changing technology companies, accelerating cutting edge innovations across the entire energy spectrum. The Investment portfolio is primarily focused on emerging technologies in oil and gas exploration and production and downstream conversion processes. BP Ventures also partners with entrepreneurial companies specialising in biotech, water, advanced materials, and digital technology.