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Posted: May 23, 2012

Nanostart Asia Pacific: New investment in Singapore

(Nanowerk News) Nanostart Asia Pacific has acquired a stake in Singapore-based Stella Specialty Chemicals Pte Ltd via Nanostart Singapore Early Stage Venture Fund I. Stella offers a wide range of specialty chemical products for surface treatment of metals and plastics. Consequently, the company is an all-round provider for the coating industry.
Stella has already started its marketing activities. The fund has initially acquired around 10 per cent of the shares in Stella. There are plans to increase the stake to around 23 per cent at the beginning of 2013. The purpose of Nanostart Asia Pacific's investment is to develop and implement the marketing concept and build up a sales team for the Asian market. Said Dr Yin Xi Jiang, Founder and Director of Stella: "This investment fund will accelerate the growth of Stella Specialty Chemicals. It is able to help Stella to continuously validate products and innovations to meet the needs of customers."
Bernd Dautel, Director of Nanostart Asia Pacific, commented on the new equity investment: "For a start-up company, Stella already has an extremely wide product range with new technologies for coating metallic and non-metallic surfaces. For the similarly diverse target markets ranging from the electronics industry through jewelry and sanitation to the automotive industry, the Stella product range provides solutions that not only improve the end product itself, but also meet economic efficiency and environmental compatibility requirements. The market potential is correspondingly high. Stella therefore meets our criteria for a company that we expect to perform strongly."
Stella originated from the Advanced Material Technology Centre at Singapore Polytechnic and has years of experience in nanotechnology and green chemistry research and development. Among other things, Stella has developed its own procedure for applying self-assembling monolayers (SAM) to metal surfaces. The extremely thin layers reduce the use of precious metals, resulting in better corrosion and wear resistance. The service life of products is increased whilst costs are reduced. This is a key competitive advantage, particularly in view of rising precious metal prices. The SAM process developed by Stella is water-based, and ultra-thin nano-protective layers can be formed on gold, silver, copper, nickel and tin surfaces in a few seconds. This technology can be used in reel-to-reel process.
Self-assembling monolayers are a typical area of nanotechnology. They are produced when a material is dipped in a solution containing molecules with a hydrophilic end and a lipophilic end. The molecules are taken up by the metal surface at the hydrophilic end. The lipophilic ends in this highly ordered molecule layer face outwards and form the surface of the coating, which therefore has the thickness of a molecule. They give the coating the desired water-resistant and protective properties.
About Nanostart
Nanostart AG headquartered in the German financial capital of Frankfurt, is a leading nanotechnology investment company, with portfolio companies spanning the globe from Silicon Valley to Singapore. The company provides venture capital financing for nanotechnology companies in various growth phases with a focus on innovation-driven industries of the future such as cleantech, life sciences and IT/electronics. As main shareholder of Nanostart Asia Pacific Ptd Ltd, Nanostart invests as partner of the Singapore government.
About Nanostart Asia Pacific
Nanostart Asia Pacific Pte Ltd was established in Singapore in 2012 with the goal to explore the growth markets of Asia. As a venture capital investment company, Nanostart Asia Pacific invests in young, up-and-coming nanotechnology companies which are approaching market launch or have innovative products already on the market. In Singapore, it invests as a partner of Singapore government via Nanostart Singapore Early-Stage Venture Fund I Pte Ltd. It is a subsidiary of Nanostart AG. Other shareholders of Nanostart Asia Pacific besides Nanostart AG are a number of strategic venture capital investors out of Asia, who with their network and experience are set to facilitate Nanostart's expansion in Asia, and the company's management. For more information about Nanostart Asia Pacific, please visit: www.nanostart-asia-pacific.com
About Stella
Stella Specialty Chemicals (S) Pte Ltd (Stella) is a company spun off from Advanced Materials Technology Centre (AMTC) at Singapore Polytechnic. Stella is a fast growing specialty chemicals company offering innovative and green chemicals for coating, plating, and treatment processes in electronics, automobile and jewellery industries. With a sturdy foundation and innovative ideas, Stella aims to bring surface finishing technologies to a whole new level. Stella strives to be a leading global manufacturer in high performance specialty chemicals and materials. To achieve its vision, Stella's technology-driven product innovation, research and development, environmental sustainability and cost-effectiveness, leads us towards fulfilling new markets and customer requirements. More information about Stella can be found on: www.stellachem.com.
Source: Nanostart (press release)
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