Is Graphene Producer Xolve in Stealth Mode?
While researching the merits of graphene as an investment, we have found few viable opportunities for retail investors. The first graphene IPO, Applied Graphene Materials hasn’t fared well. Graphite miners are trying to laud their mining ventures as viable plays on graphene when this is very far from the truth. Over-the-counter companies are trying to get in on the action. Few products seem to be widely commercialized and niche applications such as graphene enabled specialty bike wheels just aren’t that compelling for investors. In the meantime, many private graphene producers such as Angstron, XG Sciences, and Vorbeck are producing tons and tons of graphene with little news about the successful commercialization of all this graphene. One other private graphene producer, Xolve, is also looking to commercialize the graphene they are producing.
Founded in 2007 based on technology developed at the University of Wisconsin, Xolve is looking to commercialize a technology that enables the simple room temperature processing of graphene and other nanoparticle composites for use in solutions and coatings. The founder, Professor James Hamilton, is currently a Professor in Chemistry and Engineering Physics at the University of Wisconsin and previously founded another nanomaterials company called Photonic Cleaning Technologies. Like other manufacturers, Xolve claims that their base technology allows for the manufacture of nanomaterials, such as graphene, in a very pristine form and at the lowest cost in the industry. One other notable claim made by Xolve is that their processes make nanomaterials soluble for the first time. The company is working with compounders, article manufacturers and OEM suppliers to composite material attributes and lower the cost of materials in demanding applications areas.
According to an article published yesterday on Xconomy, Xolve just closed a funding round of $1.8 million which could rise to $2.8 million by the time it closes. This would take the total investments in Xolve over the past 4 years to around $6.5 million according to their SEC filings. Investors in Xolve include the New Capital Fund, Peak Ridge Capital, and DSM Venturing which is the venture capital arm of Royal DSM (AMS:DSM), the $9.4 billion Dutch life sciences and materials company. All three of these investors have representation on Xolve’s board.
Like other private graphene companies, Xolve provides little in the way of news releases that elaborate upon their progress. In an article we published a few days ago on Nanocyl, we hypothesized that the only two reasons a private company would not provide updates on their progress would be that they were too busy inking deals and chasing revenues or that they ceased making progress in their venture. A third reason could be that the existing investors who have board representation want to keep their company operating in stealth mode and not attract much attention while exercising control over the opportunity themselves. Could this be the case for Xolve?
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