Actnano, a company that makes protective nanocoating for vehicles and consumer electronics, raised $12 million for its Series A, the company announced Tuesday.
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The company’s nanocoating is used to protect surfaces from water damage. Actnano is focused on the auto market as more cars install autopilot features.
The Boston-based company plans on using the funding to expand into Germany, Korea and Japan, so it can have a presence where the world’s largest auto manufacturers are located.
Actnano was founded in 2012 and originally made protective nanocoating for consumer electronics, like LG phones and Jabra headsets. Around 2014, the company pivoted to make protective nanocoating for the automotive industry, though it still does work with consumer electronics selectively.
The reason for pivoting, according to CEO Taymur Ahmad, was that the company saw how critical protective coating was for the electronics involved in vehicles.
“If your phone doesn’t work, no one dies. If your headset doesn’t work because you were sweating when you were working out, nothing happens, you buy a new one,” Ahmad said. But it’s different if liquids spill on a car’s autopilot, he added.
“The biggest reason it’s important is we protect the autopilot,” Ahmad said. “You do not want to spill your coffee on the autopilot and have it drive into a brick wall.”
Ahmad declined to name Actnano’s auto clients, but said they include large original equipment manufacturers based in Detroit, Silicon Valley, Germany and Sweden.
Currently, about half of the company is based in Asia and the other half is based in the U.S. Ahmad estimates that with the company’s expansion, its 2021 sales will double that of 2020.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.