Roadmap Capital (Toronto, ON, Canada) has invested $7 million in equity funding in LiquiGlide Inc. (Cambridge, MA), enabling the company to secure commercial deals in multiple market verticals and accelerate its growth strategy. The influx of capital has enabled LiquiGlide to move into a new 11,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art laboratory and office in Cambridge, which will help the company continue to attract top scientists.
As reported in PlasticsToday in July 2014, LiquiGlide makes slippery coatings for plastic surfaces that enable viscous liquids to easily slide. The technology, which was developed by the Varanasi Research Group laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), targets plastic containers for sticky consumer packaged goods such as ketchup, mayo, lotion, and even glue.
"We see unlimited potential for our slippery coatings and feel a sense of urgency to bring them to the industries where they can make a real impact," said LiquiGlide co-inventor and CEO Dave Smith, in a prepared statement. "The support from Roadmap Capital will help us build our customer base across industries and attract innovative scientists."
"Watching LiquiGlide's technology emerge from the lab and pique the interest of executives at leading CPG companies and prestigious venture capitalists is a great vote of confidence in the market potential for our technology and the capabilities of our leadership team," said MIT professor and LiquiGlide co-inventor, Kripa Varanasi.
LiquiGlide's coatings are custom-made for each application by combining a porous solid with a liquid that gets trapped within it via strong capillary forces. LiquiGlide's coatings can literally be made from edible ingredients, making them completely safe for foods, health and beauty products, and other consumer goods. The coatings are commercially viable for a multitude of industries, from consumer packaged goods to oil & gas, medical, life sciences, agrochemical, and aerospace.
LiquiGlide won the Audience Choice Award at the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition and first prize at the Mass Challenge in 2012, and watched its ketchup bottle video go viral. (If you haven't seen it, the video is embedded below.) Thousands of potential customers inquired about the technology, including the largest consumer packaged goods companies in the world, and LiquiGlide Inc. was founded to commercialize MIT's patents for liquid-impregnated surfaces. LiquiGlide now has more than 30 paying clients across multiple industries and has more than 20 employees.
"We see the inherent value that LiquiGlide's technology can bring to the world—from saving consumers money to cutting manufacturing costs and even saving lives—and we confidently stand behind the company, which we truly believe is changing the way liquids move," said Stephen Ireland, Principal at Roadmap Capital.