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Global Graphene Group (G3) has secured the first $10 million of a Preferred Series A investment from Western & Southern Financial Group (Western & Southern) with conditions for a second close of an additional $13 million for a total $23 million Series A investment with Western & Southern as the sole investor.
G3, a holding company for subsidiaries Angstron Materials, Honeycomb Battery and Nanotek Instruments, is engaged in commercialising graphene raw materials, and graphene-enabled applications including nanocomposites, thermal interface materials, and advanced batteries. G3 is headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, US, with operations in Asia.
“Given that G3 had already received more than $10 million in pre-Series A investments predominantly from investors in Asia, it was important to get a lead investor in Ohio that can partner with G3 locally to support the growth of the business in Dayton. I couldn’t be happier to partner with Western & Southern, a Fortune 500 Financial Services firm with a tremendous history of growth and innovation under John Barrett,” said Bor Jang, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of G3.
“I am a firm believer in the importance of innovation and high skilled jobs to the growth and economic prosperity of our region. I am proud of the role that Western & Southern has and will continue to play in the economic development of Ohio. The innovation displayed thus far by Dr. Jang, Dr. Zhamu and their team is truly remarkable. They are true entrepreneurs, and I am excited for the future of their company,” said John F. Barrett, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Western & Southern.
“Western & Southern has already proved to be a valuable partner as its team helped us see the value of recapitalising Angstron Materials, Nanotek Instruments and Honeycomb Battery under a single holding company, G3, for improved alignment and focus as we scale the businesses. Trust is critical in any successful partnership, and I trust the Western & Southern team and John Barrett to challenge the G3 team to be the best business possible,” said Aruna Zhamu, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of G3.
“I was initially intrigued that Dr. Jang filed the first patent application on graphene in 2002, two years before the first paper on graphene by Drs. Geim and Novoselov, who were later awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work on graphene. After working with the Western & Southern team through the due diligence process, I believe that G3 has an opportunity to commercialise some incredible technologies that are important for the world,” said Ben Fotsch, who led the investment for Western & Southern.
“With this investment from Western & Southern, the fun can start. It is time to get organised, focused and execute on our plan. The strategy is clear. The future is bright. There is no ceiling for what this team can accomplish together,” said Dr. Edward Chan, Executive Vice President of Angstron Materials.
Past success and potential for the future of G3 are due in part also to the support G3 has received from Nan Whaley, Dayton Mayor; Shelley Dickstein, Dayton City Manager; the Dayton Development Coalition, and Sinclair Community College.
G3 explains that graphene has many extraordinary properties with potentially the highest strength, thermal conductivity, and electron mobility of any material. The high unit price and low production volume of graphene have been historical bottlenecks in the deployment of this wonder material. G3 has the know-how and patent protected technologies to drive the economies of scale and is positioned to capitalise on these properties.
The $10 million investment from Western & Southern will be used to renovate facilities and to acquire new production equipment. A new facility in Dayton is planned to produce graphene raw materials, thermal films, and graphene-enhanced nanocomposites. The current facilities in Dayton will be renovated with equipment to produce graphene-enabled high energy density battery electrodes and next generation lithium ion batteries in an expanded state-of-the-art dry room. By the end of 2016, G3 will be operating out of three buildings in Dayton, in addition to significant operations in Asia, with customers in more than 30 countries.
Image provided by Global Graphene Group
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