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Imperial Innovations partners with Jetstream Capital for £5.1m funding round

Imperial Innovations partners with Jetstream Capital for £5.1m funding round

London, UK – 18 December 2013 –  Imperial Innovations Group plc (AIM: IVO, ‘Innovations’), a leading technology commercialisation and investment group, is partnering with Jetstream Capital for a Series A investment round of £5.1 million ($8.4 million) into Econic Technologies Ltd. Econic is developing new catalyst technology for manufacturing polymers from waste carbon dioxide (CO2).

In the latest round, Innovations - which has been an investor since Econic’s formation in 2011 - will contribute £2.1m in new capital and will hold a total equity shareholding of 48.3% fully diluted. New investor Jetstream Capital is a US-based family fund focussed on long-term investments in private companies with high environmental or social impact, with an emphasis on novel and disruptive technologies.  The funds raised in this investment round will be used to further the testing and scale up of the Econic catalyst technology for commercialisation of polyurethane polyols and long-chain polymers.

Econic Technologies develops new catalytic processes for manufacturing polymers using waste CO2 as a feedstock. The use of CO2 to replace conventional petrochemical-based feedstocks enables a significant cost reduction for certain polymer manufacturers. Econic polycarbonates replace between 30% and 50% of traditional petrochemical feedstock with lower cost CO2, resulting in 30-40% cost reductions as well as improved product characteristics. The resulting polycarbonates can be used in a variety of applications including the production of polyurethane - a $40 billion global market - which includes products such as foams, plastics and polyesters.

Econic Technologies was founded in 2011 to commercialise the research of Professor Charlotte Williams and her group at Imperial College London. Econic is led by Chairman David Morgan, formerly an executive director at Johnson Matthey. Jetstream Capital founder Joel Dobberpuhl joins the Econic Technologies board of directors alongside Innovations Director Kelsey Lynn.

Kelsey Lynn, Director Technology Ventures at Innovations, said:
“Econic represents an important example of our investment in strong companies with major potential impact on their market; it has made great progress with its polymer technology and we are pleased to be supporting Econic as it scales and commercialises its solutions.

“This investment is also a good indication of the strength in depth of our technology and materials businesses portfolio. Jetstream Capital is a partner of quality and vision, whose long-term ambitions for Econic closely mirror our own.”

David Morgan, Executive Chairman of Econic Technologies, said:

“This additional funding will allow us to accelerate the next phase of our development and to intensify our engagement with customers.  We are very pleased with the confidence our investors are showing in our technology and its potential.”

Joel Dobberpuhl, Founder and Managing Director, Jetstream Partners, said:

“We look for companies with strong potential for impact and were drawn to Econic for its exceptional technology, talented scientific team and strong customer interest. The involvement of Innovations as an influential lead investor from the outset made for a well-structured company and deal.”

 

Notes to editors

Figure of $40bn global market for PU is from Transparency Market Research, 2012.  (http://www.transparencymarketresearch.com)

 

Imperial Innovations - www.imperialinnovations.co.uk

Since founding in 1986, Innovations has invested in the most promising technologies from our brightest scientists. Today it is connected with four of the world’s top research universities: Imperial College London, Cambridge and Oxford Universities and University College London. These centres of scientific excellence between them have a research income of over £1.3 billion per annum. Innovations supports scientist-entrepreneurs in the commercialisation of their ideas. It adds value by leading the formation of new spin-out companies, providing investment, encouraging co-investment as well as through its operational expertise. It also runs an Incubator in London that is the initial home for many of its technology spin-outs.

Originally formed as the Technology Transfer office for Imperial College – a role it still carries out – Innovations is today a significant technology investor and has built a portfolio of around 90 companies. Almost £150m has been invested by Innovations and £0.5bn has been raised in total by the portfolio companies. In 2013, a £30 million loan facility was agreed with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for investment in biotech and therapeutics businesses.

Innovation invests in the most promising opportunities from whichever technology sector they arise and has built particular expertise in the key sectors of: Therapeutics, Medtech and devices, Engineering and materials and ICT.

 

Issued for and on behalf of Imperial Innovations.

To contact the Imperial Innovations team at College Hill, email imperialinnovations@collegehill.com

 

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Tim WatsonAssociate Partner