- Funding includes $1.485 million in seed capital from Clean Tech Angel Investors and $748,000 grant from National Science Foundation
- New investors include Sierra Angels and Sand Hill Angels
- Targets water purification, energy storage and biotherapeutics industries
SEATTLE, Dec. 05, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Membrion, a manufacturer of ultra-low cost, high performance ion exchange membranes, today announced it has closed its Series Seed round, having raised a total of $1.485 million. Sierra Angels and Sand Hill Angels joined existing investors E8 and the E8 Fund, Bellingham Angel Investors, as well as other prominent angels. This round, combined with a $748,000 grant the company received earlier this year from the National Science Foundation, puts the company on the path to commercialization in 2019.
Membrion will use this funding to continue to scale its novel technology and develop commercially viable membranes for the ion exchange markets in water separation technologies and energy storage applications.
The high cost of current ion exchange membranes and the inferior performance of polymer membranes have held back many of the most promising solutions to today’s clean energy, fresh water and human health challenges. Membrion’s low-cost, high-performance ceramic ion exchange membranes solve both problems, thereby allowing its customers to unlock the true potential of grid-scale energy storage; cutting-edge water purification and desalinization technologies; and advanced filtration in pharmaceuticals and chemical separations.
Membrion leverages silica gel – an inexpensive, non-toxic material that is often packaged with new shoes, beef jerky and many other consumer products – to produce a novel class of commercial ceramic membranes. Membrion’s technology converts the highly absorbent, small-pore silica gel into flexible ceramic membranes that can be engineered to meet the needs of a wide range of applications. It does so at a dramatic cost reduction relative to the current industry leading membranes.
“Our oversubscribed round is a testament to the belief by our investors that Membrion has the right team, the right technology and the right strategy,” said John Plaza, CEO of Membrion. “It’s full steam ahead for us now as we commercialize this breakthrough technology.”
Membrion was founded in 2016 by Dr. Greg Newbloom, based on the technology he developed alongside Professor Lilo Pozzo at the University of Washington’s College of Engineering. Spun out of University of Washington, Membrion has received generous support from UW’s CoMotion, Buerk Center & Clean Energy Institute, the National Science Foundation, Amazon’s Catalyst program, the Murdock Charitable Trust, and the CalTech Rocket Fund.
Membrion has developed breakthrough Molecular Self Assembly (MSA) technology that uses readily available, non-toxic and low-cost materials to produce advanced ceramic ion exchange membranes which perform better and cost significantly less than today’s ceramic and polymer options. Membranes are at the heart of solutions to enable more cost-effective solutions for clean energy, fresh water supplies and human health challenges. Membrion’s affordable, high-performance membranes will help unleash a new wave of innovation and market penetration for these technologies. More information is available at www.membrion.com.
E8 is an impact angel investment group focused exclusively on promising cleantech startups. Its mission is to accelerate the transition to a cleaner future, a healthier planet, and a prosperous sustainable world. To date, individual members and the E8 Fund have invested more than $30 million in 81 companies and capital funds across North America. More information is available at: www.E8angels.com
About Bellingham Angel Investors
Bellingham Angel Investors (BAI) is a leading angel investment group located in Bellingham, Washington. BAI invests in early stage companies in the Pacific Northwest from Vancouver, BC, to Portland, Oregon, for the purpose of accelerating the growth of entrepreneurial technology companies while building exceptional shareholder value. BAI is an experienced investor with approximately $25 million invested in over 40 companies over the last 10 years through both an investment fund and as individual angel investors. More information is available at www.bellinghamangelinvestors.com
About Sierra Angels
Sierra Angels is Nevada’s premier angel investment group founded at North Lake Tahoe in 1997. Our Membership consists of 50 highly experienced executives and entrepreneurs who provide funding, mentoring and strategic introductions for meritorious early-stage technology companies primarily in Nevada and Northern California. We also proactively collaborate with other angel groups throughout the Western States. More information is available at http://www.sierraangels.com
About Sand Hill Angels
Sand Hill Angels is a group of Silicon Valley angel investors passionate about helping entrepreneurs get to the next level. What makes the group unique is the collective experience of its members building and scaling deep technology companies. The group has been around for close to two decades.
Sand Hill Angels works openly and collaboratively with venture capital funds, other angel organizations, and the Bay Area ecosystem that fosters the growth of technology startups. For additional information, visit www.sandhillangels.com or follow @SandHillAngels.com on Twitter.
John Williams, Scoville PR for Membrion