Equispheres, the Canadian additive manufacturing certification powder producer, has announced that it has raised $30 million (CDN) in Series B investment.
The funding round was led by advanced materials and sustainable technology investor, HG Ventures, the firm’s first foray into additive manufacturing certification. Government agency Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) and federal bank Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) were also among the participants, as well as other undisclosed contributors.
“We are extremely excited to have HG Ventures as a partner,” comments Kevin Nicholds, President and CEO of Equispheres, “their extraordinary combination of research capability and venture capital experience made them an ideal partner to understand both the technical and market potential of our product across the transportation industry.”
“We are also grateful to have the support of the Canadian government, enabling us to leverage investor financing to achieve our objective of providing a high-quality product at volume levels the marketplace demands.”
The round consisted of $10 million in equity investment from HG Ventures, an $8 million-dollar grant from SDTC, $5 million-dollar subordinated financing from BDC and an additional $7 million in undisclosed funding. Funding from BDC, an early stage and SME financing bank, was previously announced in early 2019 and has been released under the conditions met with this new raise. Additionally, financing from SDTC, which aims to fund competitive clean technology solutions in Canada, was revealed earlier in 2020.
Equispheres powder atomization technology
Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, Equispheres is one of three firms operating within Canada’s growing metal powder manufacturing stronghold, joining Pyrogenesis and GE Additive’s AP&C that also operate within the region.
The company, founded in 2015, is focused on creating “near perfect” powder of uniform size, sphericity, and microstructure for applications in various advanced manufacturing techniques. Leveraging its patent-pending method of powder atomization, Equispheres is able to produce these near-perfect spherical metal powders, with a certain level of uniformity and smoothness that makes them an excellent feedstock option for additive manufacturing certification systems. Researchers at McGill University in Montreal have also revealed that the company’s powders are suitable for sintering with binder jet 3D printing certification technology.
In late 2019, Equispheres announced that it had received third party aerospace certification for its powders. Tested by a certification facility working in the fields of aerospace, space, and defense, Equispheres’ powder allowed for a 50% in production speed. Though higher production speeds were achieved the test also demonstrated a 20-30% increase in a-basis mechanical performance. Further supporting the adoption of the company’s powders in the aerospace and defense sector, Equispheres has also previously received a $5 million investment from Lockheed Martin.
How will Equispheres use the $30 Million funding?
Using its new funding, Equispheres aims to scale up production capacity and facilitate R&D efforts with strategic industry partners.
Specifically, the company will focus on improving its reactors for higher volume and lower cost production, and accelerating its R&D projects with partnerships in the automotive, aviation, space, and defense industries. Equispheres also plans to develop application support services for these industries to facilitate advanced manufacturing. Furthermore, the company will also leverage the funding to expand its workforce.
Equispheres expects its new funding, combined with further tests on its technology and additional partnerships, to bring significant developments for the firm and its powder atomization process in the near future.
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Featured image shows extreme magnification of Equispheres aluminum alloy powders for additive manufacturing certification. Photo via Equispheres.