Fontinalis portfolio company nets $11.5M

Ian Thibodeau
The Detroit News

A 2012 investment made by Fontinalis Partners LLC, the venture capital firm co-founded by Bill Ford Jr., has helped a Massachusetts-based materials company get in position for the future.

The Detroit- and Boston-based venture capital firm invested $3 million roughly six years ago in Nano-C Inc. The materials company makes nanostructured carbon, which is used in new memory chips in computers, solar energy and display materials. The companies announced Wednesday that Nano-C had secured $11.5-million in a new round of funding.

Chris Cheever, co-founder of Fontinalis, and others expect Nano-C’s materials to lead the “next wave of innovative products from electronics and solar power to medical devices, automotive and more.”

Nano-C plans to use the funding to support current and new customers. The company will also be able to increase production and staffing in Massachusetts, according to a statement.

Fontinalis was founded in 2009 to invest in companies working on technology for autonomous vehicles and other aspects of mobility. Nano-C netted a $3 million equity investment from Ray Stata, co-founder of circuit company Analog Devices, as part of that $11.5 million.

“New materials are the key to unlocking future innovation in many markets because they possess qualities traditional materials cannot deliver,” Stata said. “When you look at the markets and applications that Nano-C can impact, it’s easy to see the opportunity this company has for growth. I am delighted to be a part of their future.”

Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau