Wool tech firm Texas Fibre gets financial backing from investors

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-05-11 16:00:00 – New Zealand

Auckland-based wool tech firm, Texus Fibre specializes in developing special materials using the natural properties found in home grown wool gets financial backing from Kiwi and international investors to the tune of $1m.

Nick Davenport, founder and director of Texus Fibre, said that the funds will be utilized to carry out market research, business and brand development and to advance the company's research and development programme.

This endorsement of their technology from a group of outstanding investors is testament to the strength of their business proposition and evidence that there is real interest in opportunities that build on New Zealand's unique advantages.

Natural wool is one of those opportunities which is extremely attractive because of their secure supply chain and the history and heritage they bring as a premium wool producing country.

Texus has become renowned for its expertise in combining wool fibre, textiles, resins and powders from multiple sources to create its materials. Its commercial fibre tech has been developed by its own research and decades of scientific research from textile technology research centres.

Now, the company plans to license its products to partners around the world. One of the first uses of its non-woven material is in the manufacture of particle filters for medical and other health markets.

The firm said that China was one of its key targets as people there are anxious about the health risks of air pollution. It means there is a high demand for personal respirators and filters for homes and offices.

Texas' capital raising round was oversubscribed, and closed at the end of March after just six months, with more than $1 million raised through a mix of private investors and investor groups. This was in addition to the New Zealand Venture Investor Fund (NZVIF), which includes influential investors in New Zealand, Europe, Asia, the United States and Australia.

One of the investors backing Texus Fibre is Hong Kong-based Seraph.vc. Auckland-based Mark Moline, Seraph's representative in New Zealand said that Texus Fibre presents a unique investment opportunity with exceptional growth potential in international markets.

Natural wool is a proven raw material that has rich, untapped possibilities in terms of the value that can be added for a range of purposes and markets.

The firm's commitment to creating superior products from wool fibre is potentially a disruptive, game-changing proposition and it fits well with the goal of seeking out innovative, global technologies that have the ability to change the way products are designed, engineered, redefine markets and open up a host of opportunities.

Wool Industry Research Limited (WIRL), in partnership with the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment Partnership Programme, has also been research partner and science programme funder since Texus Fibre was established.

Ian Cuthbertson, Manager of WIRL said that the Texus Fibre team has successfully created opportunities in an area that New Zealand coarse wool has not previously penetrated. They are continuing their support of the company's science based investment, and applaud the foresight of the companies and individuals that have joined in supporting this capital raising effort.

New Zealand is the largest producer of crossbred wool in the world. Wool fibre has a higher ignition threshold than many other fibres and is flame retardant to 600 degrees Celsius. Wool fibre can be bent 20,000 times without breaking and can still return to its natural state. New Zealand exported $756m worth of wool in 2013.

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