Business Weekly: Thanks a million by Kate Sweeney, 10 December 2013
Imperial Innovations has invested £350k and led a new seed funding round of almost £1 million ($1.6 million) into Aqdot Limited.
Cambridge Enterprise, Parkwalk Advisors, and Providence Investment Company joined Innovations in the investment round.
The funds will be used to further the development of the Aqdot technology and partnerships with companies in the selected markets.
Aqdot has developed a proprietary and disruptive chemical encapsulation technology that enables extremely tiny droplets to be produced to carry ‘active materials’: for example cleaning enzymes used in domestic detergents, and agrochemicals for crop treatment.
The high stability and robustness of the droplets allows for a finely controlled release of the contained ingredients while using much less encapsulation material than traditional products.
In addition to giving value to producers and consumers, the reduction in wasted active materials also yields significant environmental and sustainability benefits.
The company is engaged with a number of interested corporate partners across a variety of industries and is prioritising opportunities in home care, personal care, nutraceuticals and agrochemicals.
The science that underpins Aqdot technology was developed at Cambridge University Department of Chemistry under senior academics Professor Chris Abell and Dr Oren Scherman, both of whom join Aqdot’s Scientific Advisory Board.
The Cambridge University co-inventors Dr Jing Zhang and Dr Roger Coulston join the company as director operations and chief scientific officer, respectively.
Innovations Entrepreneur-in-Residence Dr John Hamlin joins as the launch CEO bringing his 25 years of experience in senior business and technology positions in BP Chemicals.
The company has recruited as chairman, Dr Peter Fields, who, after 20 years at ICI, implemented a buy-and-build strategy as COO to grow European specialty chemical distribution company, Azelis, from €330m to €1.1bn in revenue.
Innovations Director Kelsey Lynn joins the Aqdot board of directors.
Kelsey Lynn, director technology ventures at Innovations, said: “We are delighted to lead this investment round alongside Cambridge Enterprise and other high quality investors to build a company that can change the landscape of controlled release functionality in encapsulation.
“Aqdot benefits from a wealth of research undertaken at one of the world’s leading chemistry departments and is already receiving interest from a variety of large corporates. We are excited to be involved with the company at this early stage in its development.”
Roger Coulston, co-founder and CSO at Aqdot Ltd, added: “Instead of licensing to industry, we decided to form a company and to commercialise the technology through active industry engagement.
“We chose as funding partner Imperial Innovations because of their experience and insight in building high-growth companies based on academic research. We look forward to creating early value with this disruptive and novel technology through a number of partnerships in different industry segments.”
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