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Octopus Ventures invests £1.75 million in Surrey NanoSystems

24th August 2009

Octopus Ventures Ltd (“Octopus”), a specialist investor in early-stage and expanding companies, is pleased to announce an investment of £1.75 million into Surrey NanoSystems (“SNS” or “the Company”), pioneers in the development of highly advanced equipment and processes for growing Carbon Nanotubes (“CNTs”) at temperatures as low as 350°C. The investment gives Octopus a significant minority stake in the business.

CNTs are molecular-scale tubes of graphitic carbon that possess extraordinary electronic and mechanical properties, making them suitable for use in a variety of semiconductor devices and related high-technology applications across multiple sectors, including the aeronautics, automotive, electronics, energy and healthcare industries.

Founded in November 2006 in partnership with the University of Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute (“ATI”), Surrey NanoSystems is unique in its ability to consistently grow CNTs at temperatures as low as 350°C. Historically nanotechnology specialists have been unable to grow CNTs below 700°C, preventing their use in a range of other applications due to the damage high temperatures cause to other materials used in semiconductor chips.

For this reason, NanoGrowth®, the Company’s unique growth technology, represents a major breakthrough for the rapidly developing field of nanoelectronics, the future manufacture of high performance semiconductor chips and their use in a far broader range of sectors.

The funding, provided by the Octopus Titan 1, 2 and 3 VCTs, Eureka EIS, and the Octopus Investor Group, will be used by Surrey NanoSystems to develop new and existing partnerships with established semiconductor chip manufacturers, and jointly develop commercial scale versions of their low temperature growth technology.

SNS’s current client base consists of a number of leading, blue chip companies and institutions in both the US and UK, including (GM) General Motors, FormFactor, Georgia Institute of Technology and Cambridge University. Additionally, the Company works closely with a variety of organisations in Australia, China, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, and Singapore.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Alex Macpherson, Chief Executive of Octopus Ventures, said: “We are delighted to be backing Surrey NanoSystems’ innovative team of pioneering scientists and experienced entrepreneurs. From the outset we have been impressed by the management team’s vision, enthusiasm, and professionalism.

“We believe the Company’s unique growth technology is a good investment opportunity for our investors and has the potential for commercial use across a range of sectors. We are really looking forward to working with Surrey NanoSystems as it embarks on its next phase of growth in the field of nanotechnology.”

Gerry Thurgood, CEO of Surrey NanoSystems, said: “Octopus is an ideal investment partner for Surrey NanoSystems. Their insight into what it takes to successfully expand innovative, market-changing businesses, combined with the access to substantial hands-on industry expertise provided through the Octopus Investor Group, is already proving invaluable to our business.”

Alliott Cole led the investment on behalf of Octopus and was supported by Luke Hakes. John Finnemore (Associate) of Shoosmiths was legal adviser to Octopus. Martin Fiennes of Gatehouse Capital was the corporate finance adviser to the Company. -ENDS-

Publisher Contact Information:

Octopus Investments
+44 207 710 2840

Company profile of Octopus Ventures
Past press releases of Octopus Ventures.


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