Modumetal wants to transform the way metal is engineered and now it has more capital in the bank to do so.
The Seattle company today announced that it closed a new round led by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, the Bay Area-based firm known for its big bets on contrarian companies that have the ability to create their own sectors.
Modumetal isn’t confirming the amount raised, but pointed to an SEC filing that reveals a completed $33.5 million round. GeekWire previously reported on the initial filing back in June, when the original SEC filing noted $26.6 million raised.
Other investors in the round include Second Avenue Partners; Catamount Ventures; Chevron Technology Ventures; BP Ventures; ConocoPhillips; Concur CEO Steve Singh; and others.
Founded in 2007, Modumetal has developed a new class of nanolayered coatings, claddings and alloys that it says is stronger, lighter and less corrosive than conventional steel. Rather than using the traditional heat-based source of energy in metals manufacturing, the company takes advantage a patented process with electricity as its energy source.
It will use the fresh funding to expand production capacity and take advantage of opportunities in the oil and gas industry.
“Our products are gaining significant traction — a fact underscored by the rapid adoption of the oil and gas sector, the first major market opportunity for our nanolaminated metals and materials,” Modumetal co-founder and CEO Christina Lomasney told GeekWire. “This is an industry that operates in highly corrosive and aggressive environments where assets, from pipes to fasteners, take a beating. Because our products outperform, while remaining cost competitive with regular metals, we are seeing rapid growth and demand from major players in the energy sector.”
The involvement of Founders Fund is significant, as the San Francisco-based firm has companies in its portfolio such as SpaceX, Lyft, Palantir and Nanotronics Imaging.
“Modumetal is the next evolution in metal alloys, disrupting a long stagnant industry and enabling a host of new applications,” Aaron VanDevender, chief scientist at Founders Fund and Modumetal board member, said in a statement.
Lomasney, a University of Washington trained physicist who previously worked at Boeing, added that the oil and gas sector is “just the beginning,” as the company has applications in industries ranging from military to automotive to construction.
“In fact, Modumetal can be used virtually anywhere conventional metals and alloys are used today,” she said. “But we provide significant performance improvements over conventional metals, including superior strength, corrosion resistance, wear resistance, thermal properties, fatigue performance and more.”
Lomasney wouldn’t reveal total funding to date for her company, nor the amount of people it employs at three locations — two in Washington, and one in Texas. Part of the funding will be used to increase capacity at its new production facility in Snohomish County that opened last year.