Namos GmbH, a Dresden-based company which is partly owned by Nanostart AG, will receive up to one million euros from the ERP Start Fund, a joint program of the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), the German government-owned development bank, and the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. The funds, to be provided in the form of an equity investment, will be disbursed in several tranches which are contingent on the achievement of specific milestones in product development.
"This investment by the ERP Start Fund is an indication of its confidence in the tremendous potential which lies in the technological developments from this small and still relatively unknown company," said Reinhard Edelmann, Head of Venture Financing at Nanostart AG, in welcoming the KfW investment.
The new technology developed by Namos should enable the savings of about one half of all precious metals currently required for the production of automotive catalytic converters. The proprietary process from Namos is based on a bionanotechnological coating which is applied to the ceramic substrate used in catalytic converters. Approx. 230 metric tons of "new," non-recycled precious metals are currently consumed each year to produce automotive catalytic converters, corresponding to an annual value of USD 8.3 billion. Roughly half of this amount, more than USD 4 billion, could be saved through the new technology from Namos.
The process is currently proceeding through a number of testing phases. At the end of these, the new technology will be fully ready for the commercial market so that it can be smoothly integrated into the overall production process for automotive catalytic converters. "We are on a solid path and are highly confident that we will quickly pass the milestones, thus marking the successful conclusion of the various testing phases. Our process is unique, and the market is eagerly anticipating it," added Dr. Jürgen Hofinger, Managing Director of Namos GmbH.
Following this transaction, Nanostart and the ERP Start Fund will each hold a share of 15.2 percent in Namos. Once the remaining planned capital transactions have been executed, the two investors will together hold a 40-percent share of Namos.