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Vaperma Inc., a Canadian Gas Separation Membrane Company, Closes a CAN$ 7.0 Million Financing Round
Quebec City, Quebec (ots/PRNewswire) - SAM Private Equity, a Switzerland- based venture fund specialized in cleantech and sustainability investments, led a Series A financing that totalled CAN$ 7.0 million. The syndicate consisted of BDC Capital and Fonds d'Investissement en Développement Durable (FIDD), two Canadian-based investment funds, and an angel investors group from Europe and Canada. Vaperma Inc. is active in the development and the commercialization of advanced gas separation solutions for the production of fuel ethanol, biodiesel and natural gas. Vaperma's advanced polymeric membrane systems enable major energy costs savings and reduction of green house gases and benzene emissions.
"The research team at Vaperma has developed and patented a polymeric membrane technology that provides a means whereby water can be separated from ethanol and natural gas in the vapor phase using less energy than the traditional distillation and solvent-based gas scrubbing processes. Our technology can save about 40% of energy costs for the production of fuel-grade ethanol and 35% of operating costs for the treatment of wet natural gas "said enthusiastically Claude Létourneau, President and CEO of Vaperma. "We have a clear value proposition for both the fuel ethanol and natural gas processing markets".
We were very impressed by the global network and due diligence process of the SAM team. We are convinced that SAM Private Equity, FIDD and BDC Capital are the right partners to position Vaperma as a world leader in gas separation solutions. Few investors in the cleantech market cover this sector through a global network and put much emphasis on the sustainability and product life cycle of their investments.
"The management team at Vaperma has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities and commitment" said Luc Charron, Principal at SAM Private Equity Sustainability Fund II LP. Vaperma has already a lot of traction in the market place. Their Alpha product for the ethanol market will be in field trial by July 2006 and plans are underway for a demonstration project for the dehydration of natural gas. Customer validation of Vaperma value proposition is well underway. "The technology developed by Vaperma is an innovative solution that will greatly contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions" affirms Mrs. Andrée-Lise Méthot, President and Chief Executive Officer of FIDD. Our investment is being enacted at the most appropriate stage of Vaperma and its technology's development, a period when the "life cycle" approach will induce the greatest benefit and therefore lead to its adoption by clients in the ethanol and natural gas sectors.
Vaperma is grateful to their angel investors, SOVAR, CNRC, NRCan/CANMET and CQVB for their seed investment, support and guidance. At the earliest stage of the technology development, SOVAR helped the founder-researchers to identify the first commercial applications for the membrane, to develop an IP strategy and to recruit an experienced entrepreneur CEO needed to manage the high growth start-up company.
Vaperma is a cleantech Quebec-based company specialized in the development, manufacturing and commercialization of a new hollow fibre polymeric membrane that allows high selective separation of water from various gas mixtures and organic vapors. Vaperma membranes are heat and solvent resistant. Membrane based technology offers an alternative to conventional processes for the dehydration of ethanol and natural gas and the removal of CO2. By offering Vaperma gas separation systems, we provide enhanced value to our customers through its superior performance and higher economic returns. Vaperma growth strategy is to focus on continuously improving our gas membrane separation technologies to meet the broadest needs of its customers.
About SAM Private Equity:
SAM Private Equity is a leading international venture capital firm focusing on emerging technologies in the energy, materials and water sectors. Founded in 2000, SAM Private Equity is a pioneer in the development of this fast growing "Cleantech" investment sector. With assets under management of around EUR 150 million, 32 portfolio companies and offices in Zurich and Montreal, SAM Private Equity today is one of the internationally leading VCs in this sector. SAM Private Equity manages two venture capital funds and two venture capital mandates of large North American institutional investors. SAM Private Equity's investors include CDP (Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec), SwissRe, EDF (Electricité de France), Norsk Hydro, Ontario Power Generation, Hydro Quebec, Suncor and Mitsui. SAM Private Equity is part of SAM Sustainable Asset Management, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland.
The Fonds d'investissement en développement durable (FIDD), L.P. is a private investment fund and a leader in the financing of businesses contributing to sustainable development. Founded in 2003, FIDD focuses on solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by investing in clean technologies and renewable energy infrastructure. FIDD is a pioneer recognized internationally for its use of the life cycle approach not only in its investment process, but also in its ability to create value for companies in its portfolio. The Solidarity Fund QFL, Fondaction and the Fonds québécois pour le développement durable (FAQDD) are among FIDD's investors.
About BDC Capital Inc.
BDC Capital Inc. is a major venture capital investor in Canada, active at every stage of a company's development cycle, from seed through expansion. Its focus is on technology-based businesses with high growth potential that are positioned to become dominant players in their markets. Established in 1975, BDC Capital has invested in over 400 firms to date. It currently manages some $550 millions in venture capital investments in the life sciences, telecommunications, information technology, and advanced technology sectors, as well as investments in funds.
SOVAR is a limited partnership whose mission is to promote the discoveries and innovations developed by researchers at Université Laval, the CHUQ and the CHRG. SOVAR's experts work in synergy with the researchers to promote their projects. The products, processes, services or technologies developed are ultimately transferred to existing companies or to new companies created to bring them to market.
The CQVB aims to stimulate, assist, guide and support at the earliest stages in the innovation process, the development and transfer of technology between researchers and small and medium-sized firms in the life sciences sector. The CQVB is a liaison and transfer centre supported by the Ministère du Développement économique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation du Québec (MDEIE).
ots Originaltext: Vaperma Inc.
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