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NanoSteel Closes New Equity Round Led by GM Ventures
PROVIDENCE, R.I.–The advanced materials company NanoSteel®, a developer of nanostructured steel materials, recently closed a new round of equity investment led by GM Ventures. The financing included new investors Lear Corporation, a major supplier of automotive seating systems and electrical systems, and SPDG, a single family office based in Brussels, in addition to the company's existing major shareholders. Proceeds from the investment round will be used for the commercialization of NanoSteel's advanced high strength sheet steel (AHSS) for automotive lightweighting applications.
The goal of NanoSteel's products is to assist automakers in building new, affordable, lightweight vehicles to meet rising global fuel economy regulations. Commercial scale qualification of NanoSteel AHSS began in North America in 2016.
NanoSteel's AHSS is reported to offer a unique combination of very high strength with the enhanced formability normally found only in low-strength mild steels. This blend of properties provides designers the ability to optimize part geometries resulting in thinner, lighter components. Additionally, it allows part producers to avoid costly production processes, such as stamping shapes at high temperature (hot stamping), when forming the new designs, the company said in a press release.
Through the transaction, Lear becomes the first automotive Tier 1 supplier to license NanoSteel's products.
"After initial testing of NanoSteel's AHSS, we are optimistic about its potential to contribute lighter materials for our vehicle seating structures," said Matthew J. Simoncini, president, CEO, and director of Lear Corporation, in the release. "Helping our customers meet their fuel economy targets is a clear priority for Lear, and we are enthusiastic supporters of new lighter-weight solutions that would allow us to use our current manufacturing infrastructure."
Olivier Périer, CEO of SPDG, described NanoSteel as a compelling opportunity that targets two of SPDG's core investment theses: disruptive mobility solutions and environmental sustainability. "We believe NanoSteel is positioned for significant growth," Périer added.
"We are honored by the confidence of Lear and SPDG, both leaders in the automotive industry, and the continued support of our current investors," added NanoSteel President and CEO, David Paratore. "NanoSteel has reached an inflection point, where our focus has shifted from technology development to product deployment with our steel partners and automotive customers. Our relationships with Fortune 500-level partners have been a major factor in our accomplishments thus far and will be key to our success moving forward."
NanoSteel (www.nanosteelco.com) specializes in the design and commercialization of patented steels with exceptional mechanical properties. Its current focus areas are sheet steel for automotive lightweighting applications and metal powders for 3D printing.
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