CarbonScape pleased with fundraising

CarbonScape executive director Tim Langley, left, with industrial engineer Mireia Marques and microwave engineer Greg ...
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CarbonScape executive director Tim Langley, left, with industrial engineer Mireia Marques and microwave engineer Greg Connor at their Riverlands laboratory.

Funds keep rolling in for Marlborough clean-tech company CarbonScape after it passed its $400,000 target through equity crowdfunding earlier this week.

In October, the company offered 2 million shares through equity crowdfunding platform The Snowball Effect, which aims to help New Zealand businesses by raising growth capital through sales of very small share lots to many people.

CarbonScape is the third company in New Zealand to list on The Snowball Effect, after Marlborough's Renaissance Brewing, which reached its cap of $700,000, and Kiwi film-maker Lee Tamihori, who raised $500,000 for his new film The Patriarch.

By last night, 112 people had invested $446,800 in CarbonScape.

The company's executive director Tim Langley said while their target was $400,000, they hoped to hit their $1.5 million cap.

"It's good. We are only half way through so we've still got two weeks left to run. I'm hopeful."

The company's two biggest investors each purchased 250,000 shares, at a cost of $50,000, Langley said.

He anticipated more investors would come on board within the next few weeks.

"I think some of the investors waited to see if we would reach the initial target, which we have.

"We've had some interest from some offshore parties, as well, who won't put in less than $1 million each but we are having to sort that."

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Their listing will run until December 6 or until it reaches its cap.

With the money raised, CarbonScape planned to build a pilot plant and start to supply green coke to New Zealand Steel, Langley said.

"We need about $700,000 for that plant but we've got other plans and other options if we don't make it.

"We are very hopeful, though, that we will reach our top target."

Green coke replaces traditional coke, which is a form of high quality carbon made from mineral coal used to fuel furnaces during the steel making process.

CarbonScape already had an agreement to supply its clean coking coal to the New Zealand Steel mill at Glenbrook, Auckland, and Langley said that aspect of its technology had the potential to cut global greenhouse gas emissions by up to 3 per cent if implemented worldwide.

CarbonScape uses microwave technology to turn the carbon in waste wood, such as that from the forestry industry, into carbon products in just minutes.

The alignment with New Zealand Steel was ideal because it provided potential access to a huge global market through a single customer, Langley said. If the company hit its $1.5m funding cap, it would look at hiring extra staff and invite new directors on board, he said.

The Snowball Effect is a new crowdfunding website made possible by changes in securities law this year, one of the first two to be licensed by the Financial Markets Authority. It does not guarantee investors will be able to sell their shares, nor are they likely to be paid dividends in the early stages.

 - The Marlborough Express

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