”la Caixa” leads a 2.2 million Euro round of funding in NANOGAP
“la Caixa” has led a 2.2 million Euro round of funding for the company NANOGAP, located in Santiago de Compostela (A Coruña). The investment has been made through the Caixa Innvierte Industria fund, an investment vehicle managed by Caixa Capital Risc, the venture capital arm of ”la Caixa”, which has participation from the Centre for Industrial Technology Development (Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial, CDTI), under the Programa Innvierte framework, and with a minority participation by the Catalan Institute of Finance (Institut Català de Finances, ICF). This operation is joined by the previous disbursements made by the company partners: Unirisco Galicia, Uninvest, and the venture capital company of the Regional Government of Galicia, Xesgalicia, through the I2C Fund.
NANOGAP specialises in the development and manufacturing of nanomaterials, which are particles that have multiple applications, the main benefit being their electrical conductivity. The company’s current products with the greatest potential are silver nanofibers, which are used in touchscreen for electronic devices, and silver atomic quantum clusters, which are used in conductive inks for printing radio frequency ID (RFID) tags.
NANOGAP is also developing solutions for the aeronautics industry: flexible, conductive adhesive tape and anti-static coatings. The latter development is a solution with applications in the field of security thanks to its differentiating optical properties.
NANOGAP emerged from a research group at the University of Santiago de Compostela, namely the NANOMAG group co-directed by professors M. Arturo López Quintela and José Rivas Rey, and was founded as a company in 2006. The company’s technology is protected by 11 patents. Since its start, the company has received several prizes and recognitions that support its business plan: “Best Innovative Idea” by the University of Santiago; “Most Innovative Project” granted by the María José Jove Foundation; “Most Innovative Company in Spain” bestowed by ENISA; “Coup de coeur” award given by PwC; and winner of the EmprendedorXXI Award in Galicia in 2012, an initiative promoted by ”la Caixa”.
With this round of funding, the company hopes to become a world leader in the development of nanotechnology-based solutions.
Entry of the vehicle for innovative industrial companies at ”la Caixa”
The fund through which ”la Caixa” is making its investment in NANOGAP, Caixa Innvierte Industria, is an investment vehicle created along with the participation of the Centre for Industrial Technology Development (CDTI) under the Programa Innvierte framework and has a minority participation by the Catalan Institute of Finance. With a total investment volume of 35 million Euros, the fund invests in companies based in Spain which operate in the field of industrial technologies with a strong component of technology and internationalisation.
The investment in NANOGAP is the seventh operation that this fund has made. Caixa Innvierte Industria currently has in its portfolio Xtraice, a company specialised in the development and marketing of skating rinks with ecological-friendly ice; Pevesa, which develops vegetable proteins through biotechnology for applications in ecological-friendly agriculture and food; Forest Chemical Group, which manufactures industrial thermal tapes; Fast Drinks, which manufactures self-heating cans; Stinser, which offers complete management of steel as a raw material to sector industries such as automotives and household appliances, and Scutum, which has created a new concept of electric scooters.
This is the second operation that the venture capital arm of ”la Caixa” has led in Galicia. This past July, the company announced its investment in Qubitia, from Pontevedra, which specialises in the development of software for financial markets to create easy and intuitive investment strategies. This very company has also received the support of other entities such as Xesgalicia through the Xes-Innova forum.