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NanoMagnetics’ backers step up support

The investor group that provided first round funding to NanoMagnetics 18 months ago, comprising Prelude Trust, Amadeus and CRIL (Cambridge Research & Innovation Ltd), were joined in a further GBP6.5 million funding round by UBS Capital, Formula Ventures, BankAtlantic Financial Ventures and Interrregnum. Prelude, which subscribed GBP1 million in the latest round, taking its total commitment to NanoMagnetics to GBP1.2 million, has increased its shareholding from 11 per cent to 13 per cent.

The new money will support NanoMagnetics as it moves out of the development phase and into commercial production of its patented advanced magnetic materials for the computer storage industry.

Current disc storage systems, based on magnetic thin film technology, will eventually be subject to the “superparamagnetic” storage density limit, but demand from the computer industry for continuing order of magnitude increased is disc storage densities shows no signs of abating.

NanoMagnetics has patented a protein processing technology to create a magnetic film that offers storage densities several thousand times greater that can be achieved using conventional thin films. The company’s technology has the potential to allow the development of TeraByte discs for desktop PCs and small 100 GigaByte drives for handheld devices. Prelude director Alan Duncan, who sits on NanoMagnetics’ board, describes the firm’s technology as “the most elegant solution out there” to the problem of increasing disc storage densities.