Thursday 23 January 2020

Guiney spinout raises €4m in bid to bring graphene products to market

technology

Graphene is a super-strong, lightweight material which could be used in the manufacture of longer-lasting smartphone batteries; lighter, stronger cars and planes; and bendable touchscreens. Stock photo
Graphene is a super-strong, lightweight material which could be used in the manufacture of longer-lasting smartphone batteries; lighter, stronger cars and planes; and bendable touchscreens. Stock photo

John Reynolds

Cork scientist Dr Ivor Guiney's graphene startup Paragraf has raised an additional £3.4m (€4m) in its series A funding round, which has been significantly backed by Dublin and London-listed VC firm Draper Esprit.

The funding means that the Cambridge University spinout has secured a total of £16.2m, when the £12.8m it raised last July is taken into account.

The business said it would now "significantly accelerate the delivery of its first graphene-based electronics products to market, transitioning the company into a commercial, revenue-generating entity".

Graphene is a super-strong, lightweight material which could be used in the manufacture of longer-lasting smartphone batteries; lighter, stronger cars and planes; and bendable touchscreens. It is about as valuable as gold.

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"Paragraf has achieved very early delivery to market of its first product, a super-high sensitivity magnetic field detector," the company said in a statement.

"The technology also provides operational capabilities over temperature, field and power ranges that no other device can currently achieve. On the back of this success, the company has made a strategic decision to take on additional financing, enabling the business to super-charge its development roadmap."

David Cummings, partner at Draper Esprit, said: "Graphene is known to be a material with huge potential, but Paragraf's approach takes this into the realm of the commercially possible. We're delighted to be able to support this dynamic company in accelerating the delivery of its first graphene-based electronics products."

Guiney, who is Paragraf's CTO, said in September that he expected to add up to 15 more engineers, scientists, a business development specialist and lab technicians, to bring his team up to about 40 staff.

The firm, which the UCC engineering graduate from Ballincollig founded with two fellow scientists at Cambridge, has also established a facility near the university that it hopes will become a global centre of excellence for two-dimensional, materials-based device R&D.

Other backers include Austrian billionaire Hermann Hauser's Amadeus Capital Partners, and London and Cambridge deep-tech VC firm IQ Capital.

Sunday Indo Business

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