BMW i Ventures, the venture capital arm of the BMW Group, recently led a Series B funding round of actnano, a company that specializes in nano-coatings for automotive and consumer electronics. As the amount of electronics used in the average vehicle increases every year with the expansion of technologies such as autonomous driving and advanced infotainment systems, the need to protect the various associated circuit boards from the sometimes harsh environment in which they operate is growing. Actnano’s nano-coatings, including nanoGuard, are already seeing extensive use in the automotive industry, and are found within 80% of EVs in North America, and more than 2,000,000 production vehicles.
“The proliferation of electronics in the car, especially with the broader industry push toward autonomous driving and electrification, will necessitate greater protection of mission-critical electronic components in the vehicle,” said Kasper Sage, managing partner at BMW i Ventures. “Actnano’s nano-coatings have proven to be superior in performance and bring distinct cost-advantages compared to traditional alternatives, making it a game-changer to secure generations of vehicles to come.”
Actnano’s nanoGuard coating is sprayed directly onto the circuit board of an electronic component and acts as an insulating barrier between environmental elements and conditions such as water, salt, condensation, and humidity. A unique benefit of nanoGuard is that it can be applied to parts such as antennas and connectors, thus eliminating the need for detailed masking. The coating is also said to yield significant cost benefits over conventional alternatives, and dries within 30 seconds of application. Finally, nanoGuard is produced using sustainable inputs and doesn’t contain fluorine or halogen compounds, which are common in automotive coatings.
“Our goal is to install nanoGUARD in every vehicle in the world, help eliminate tragic accidents, and save lives,” said Taymur Ahmad, CEO of Actnano. “BMW i Ventures’ commitment to sustainability and user safety makes us extremely excited to partner with them and grow within the mobility sector.”
The Series B financing round totaled $21,750,000 and was led by BMW i Ventures with new investors Hella Ventures and TDK Ventures also participating. All Series A investors, including Henkel Tech Ventures, among several others, also participated in the Series B round. Actnano is said to be planning to use the new funding to ramp up production in response to significantly increased demand, and to expand sales teams and technical teams.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy actnano.]