13 December 2007

Three Uniseed investee companies, Fultec Semiconductor, Xerocoat and Hydrexia, have raised over AU$20 million collectively in follow-on funding in the last six months from local and international Venture Capitalists.

Hydrexia Pty Limited has just closed a second round AU$4.8 million investment led by Conduit Ventures and GBS Ventures. Conduit Ventures is an experienced London-based VC specialising in fuel cell and related hydrogen technologies. Uniseed has also participated in this round.

Hydrexia is developing hydrogen storage systems based on proprietary magnesium hydrides. Hydrexia is developing prototypes for the industrial H2 storage and delivery market to address storage requirements in this market that range from 10-150kg. These products would replace traditional pressurised gas systems (either pallets of manifolded cylinders, or tube trailers) and demonstrate advantages such as improved safety and handling, smaller footprint and better matching of customer usage needs.

Fultec Semiconductor Inc. has raised a further US$10 million in a Series D investment round led by Allen & Buckeridge, with US VC funds, Mayfield Fund, ComVentures and Crescendo Ventures also participating. Uniseed and Westscheme also contributed to this round. The company, with origins from research at The University of Queensland (UQ), is registered in Delaware and has operational activities in Silicon Valley.

Fultec is establishing itself as a market leader in communications systems circuit protection. The company’s patented Transient Blocking Unit (TBU) protects against power surges and mitigates the chance of short circuits, voltage spikes or lightning strikes destroying sensitive, and commonly expensive, electronics.

Xerocoat Inc., also a UQ spin-out, has secured a Series B funding round led by US-based Nth Power and Southern Cross Venture Partners. Uniseed and Westscheme have also participated in this round. Xerocoat has relocated to the US, specifically Silicon Valley, although they will continue to have a development group in Australia. The company has also employed a US-based CEO with extensive experience in the optical coatings industry.

Xerocoat has developed a new process for applying anti-reflective and anti-fogging coatings to glass and plastics at substantially lower cost than existing techniques. Whilst the company has an initial focus on the photovoltaic market other potential markets include coatings for spectacle lenses, plastic optical lenses, electronic displays, windows, and automotive windscreens.

Peter Devine
CEO - Uniseed
07 3365 3754

About Uniseed
Uniseed is an established pre-seed and seed stage venture capital fund, with the aim to successfully commercialise the outcomes of Australian research and ingenuity from the University of Queensland, the University of Melbourne and the University of New South Wales.

Uniseed began as a $20 million fund, founded by The Universities of Queensland and Melbourne. Since then, through investment commitment from Westscheme, Western Australia's largest non-government superannuation fund, the University of New South Wales and further investment from the founding Universities, the fund has grown to over $60 million.

Uniseed makes targeted investments at the earliest stages of a venture's formation and manages the development of research and ingenuity-based ventures to the point where they can secure substantial further investment from the investment community. It represents an important step in forging a link between academia and business that focuses on the commercialisation of innovative ideas and inventions for global consumption.