November 23, 2020 in Blog, News from Our Companies

Carbice Closes on $15M Series-A Funding Round

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Funding to support production, sales, and marketing expansion.

Baratunde "Bara" Cola (second from left), a professor at Georgia Tech’s George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, is founder of Carbice Corp.
Baratunde “Bara” Cola (second from left), a professor at Georgia Tech’s George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, is founder of Carbice Corp. (FILE PHOTO)

Carbice Corp. successfully closed a $15 million Series A funding round led by Downing Ventures. with additional funding provided by Toyota AI Ventures.

Atlanta, Georgia-based Carbice — a member company in the Advanced Technology Development Center’s (ATDC) startup portfolio — produces Carbice® Carbon, a product that lowers device temperatures and dissipates heat away from product packaging. The technology is being used in space applications within satellites as well as in many terrestrial applications, and is an industry leader on long-term reliability in diverse operational environments.

Carbice® Carbon technology provides the only thermo-interface solution on the market allowing for thermo-connectivity management that is simple to make and easy to handle, apply and rework.

Carbice® Carbon is the world’s leading heat conducting material, comprised of a composite of recycled aluminum and aligned carbon nanotubes, a tiny filament that is only tens of atoms thick in diameter. It has set the standard for thermal materials because of the aligned high-connectivity nano-structure at the core of Carbon® Carbice.

In a time of rapid digitization, industry has been restricted by the thermal dissipation of the heat that is generated as a natural part of electronic devices operation. The future iterations of all next-generation electronics will have greater heat problems than before. As ever-smaller devices are manufactured for broader uses, solving critical issues related to thermal transfer are key to unlocking trapped performance and reliability. As a result, Carbice® Carbon will propel technology iterations at a greater pace than before as it solves this thermal issue.

The funds from the Series A round will allow Carbice to attract top talent to help expand its sales and marketing functions and enable the company to scale production to meet the significant product demand.

The company was founded in 2012 by Baratunde Cola, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, whose research focus is heat transfer, combustion, and energy systems. Cola holds one of the longest tenures in the field of carbon nanotubes, working on and researching them since 1999. He has garnered multiple research awards for and design patents, including two Carbice patents based on Georgia Tech research.

Having taken the company through two Tech programs for startup development — VentureLab and ATDC — he de-risked Carbice by building it for scalability from the onset and by establishing the intellectual property for manufacturing rather than just the product itself.

“Not only is Bara one of the greatest technical minds out there, he is invested in how people and the world operate to make this planet a better place for everyone which is clear when you experience their company culture,” said Warren Rogers, partner and head of ventures at Downing Ventures. “Carbice® Carbon is nothing short of revolutionary and will completely disrupt thermal management in every industry. We look forward to being part of the journey with Bara and his team while building this transformative enterprise.”

Added Jim Adler, founding managing director of Toyota AI Ventures: “Thermal management is a critical electronics issue that has seen little disruptive innovation. Carbice® Carbon’s heat-conducting technology is a game-changer for applications in multiple industries. Bara is a proven leader with the ideal combination of vision, strategy, operations, and technical expertise to realize Carbice’s potential.”

Using government grants and commissioning projects for the U.S. Army, the Air Force, and National Science Foundation (NSF) has allowed Cola and his team to move through multiple generations and really understand the product in a low-cost environment. The manufacturing process has now had nearly a decade to mature with batch processing of the product taking minutes to grow with a 90 percent uniform yield putting Carbice in a very strong position to scale up with Downing Ventures investment.

“Downing is the right fit for Carbice because of Warren. Like us, he is a fierce competitor with a friendly and honest approach, with great insight into how the future will be built,” Cola said. “The whole Downing legacy and team are great too and they are very friendly and supportive to great entrepreneurial teams like ours.”

Separately, Carbice announced two critical hires to its team: Hal Laskey former as chief operating officer (COO). He had been vice president of semiconductor sales at IBM and served as former executive vice president and chief Sales Officer at STATS ChipPAC.

The second appointment is Bianca Cefalo as director of international business development. A rocket scientist and space educator, she was the thermal products leader at Airbus.

About Downing Ventures
Downing Ventures is an evergreen fund investing in seed to Series A companies, with the possibility of follow-on investments. We invest in a variety of technology sectors including Healthcare, Deep Tech, Industry 4.0/Mobility, FinTech and Enterprise. We have a portfolio of 71 companies as of September 2020. We work alongside a number of investment partners and accelerator programs and incubators, including the London Co-Investment Fund.

About Downing LLP
Downing Ventures is a division of Downing LLP, a London-based investment management firm. We help UK businesses grow by investing in them via our range of venture capital trusts (VCT), enterprise investment schemes (EIS), inheritance tax (IHT), individual savings account (ISA) and open-ended investment company (OEIC) products. So far, over 35,000 investors have been a part of what we do and we are proud to have raised over £1.7 billion into businesses across a range of sectors, from renewable energy, care homes, health clubs, and children’s nurseries, to technology and sports nutrition.

About Carbice Corp.
Carbice Corp. produces multi-functional material solutions from Carbice® Carbon that set the standard for performance, reliability, and low-cost assembly within the world’s most important electronic, energy, and industrial products. Our industry-leading thermal interface products (TIPs) are easy to select and buy because our first-of-a-kind, in-application, predictive modeling allows our customers to know what to expect up front with confidence. We are based in Atlanta, Georgia with an office in London and one planned for Toulouse, France.

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