By Emily Greenhalgh
PBN Web Editor
PROVIDENCE – General Motors Ventures LLC has invested in The NanoSteel Co., a maker of nano-structured steel materials design, the company announced Monday.
GM Ventures – a General Motors subsidiary created to invest in promising automotive technology – joined EnerTech Capital, Fairhaven Capital Partners and five existing investors to complete Providence-based NanoSteel’s Series C financing round.
“We are investing in NanoSteel because of the opportunity associated with their new steel alloy technology,” Jon Lauckner, GM's chief technology officer, vice president of Global R&D and president of GM Ventures, said in a statement.
“Over the next several years, light-weighting of vehicles will be a major focus area to improve fuel economy,” added Lauckner, “NanoSteel's nano-structured alloys offer unique material characteristics that are not available today, making them a potential game-changer.”
The terms of the GM investment was not disclosed, but Dave Paratore, NanoSteel’s president and CEO said the investment “demonstrates [GM’s] confidence in our company’s potential to achieve widespread impact on the auto industry through our proprietary steel designs.”
Through the development of patented alloys, the company has developed a new class of steels that allows engineers and designers to reduce vehicle weight while maintaining the structural integrity needed for safety.
According to a company release, NanoSteel’s product is an alternative to other light-weight materials that cost more, require new investment in parts production and have performance limitations.
“With the support of General Motors’ automotive expertise and technology leadership, we can accelerate the final phases of development of our nano-structured AHSS in the quest to economically lightweight vehicles,” added Paratore.