The deal has been brokered with private equity company Roadmap Capital, which has invested the money in the business to help enable the business to secure commercial deals in a range of markets that will include the personal care space, as well as accelerating its overall growth strategy.
The capital injection has enabled LiquiGlide to relocate to an 11,000 square-foot laboratory and office space in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which the company believes will help it to attract top scientists.
From lab to executive-level interest
The technology has been some years in the making and finding commercial backing to get it into the marketplace has added to the challenges and the timeline, but its developers believe the technology will soon hit the market in a big way.
“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.
The first turning point came in 2012, when the technology won the Audience Choice Award at the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition and first prize at the Mass Challenge.
Potential for a range of consumer application, including cosmetics
Realizing the potential of the technology in a range of consumer product applications, including the cosmetics and personal code, Boers helped to establish the business with CEO Dave Smith and the team moved into the company offices in January of 2013.
“Since then we have worked hard with a number of clients to develop a range of coatings which are each tailor made to meet the requirements of different applications and formulations,” Smith told Cosmetics Design in June last year.
“For the cosmetics and personal care sector, we are working on a number of coatings for specific product applications and expect to see the first products to incorporate the technology on store shelves as early as the beginning of next year.”
A 'win-win' situation for consumers and manufacturers
From a consumer perspective Boers explained the common feedback that many people are frustrated about not being able to get the last drop of product out of the bottle, often having to resort to inconvenient methods that include cutting up the packaging.
According to research cited by Boers, typically between 17% and 20% of product formulation is left in the bottle at the end of use, if the consumer does not make any extra effort to remove the last drop.
But equally, from a manufacturer’s perspective, there is also a significant advantage in that the consumer tends to go through the product faster due to the quicker rate of dispense, leading to a higher rate of product turnover, Boers explains.
The cost to the manufacturer depends on the type of application, because each product has to be developed with a tailor-made coating to meet specific requirements. Although each coating amounts to just a few pennies, the technology is sold as a licensing agreement, on a case-by-case basis.
<iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/89937945" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/89937945">Shampoo Bottle w/ LiquiGlide Coating</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/liquiglide">LiquiGlide</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>