NanoMuscle Works To Build Second Round

Following a $1 million equity infusion from Hong Kong toy maker Jetta Co. Ltd., nanomotor developer NanoMuscle Inc. is preparing the close of a $5 million to $8 million Series B round before year-end.

The Antioch, Calif.-based company develops and produces nano-, or mini, motors for use in consumer electronic devices. They are nickel- and titanium-based electrical motors that are smaller, more efficient, lighter and quieter than conventional electromagnetic small motors, but have the same capacity for motion. Nanomotors enable product miniaturization, and, if used on a mass scale, more efficient production costs, reduction of electrical and mechanical noise and a quicker time-to-market.

Applications have been developed for nanomotors that are currently being used in the computing, automobile and medical device sectors.

“Nanotech is like a solution looking for a problem, said NanoMuscle Co-Founder and CEO Rod MacGregor. “Small motors use 170-year old technology with magnets and coils. It’s a sector ripe for innovation and alternative solutions.”

With orders from Jetta and American toy manufacturer Hasbro Inc. already in place, the company is marching along a steady growth curve that will soon allow it to fulfill orders from military and automobile-sector clients.

“The base technology tends not to change, the environmental conditions change. So when you move into different industries, it’s essentially a repackaging exercise,” MacGregor said.

Now the company is looking to sign on another strategic partner and a traditional venture firm for a final round of funding that will carry it through to profitability. If NanoMuscle can raise $8 million in its upcoming round of venture financing, MacGregor said, it could reach profitability by 2003.

Silicon Valley’s Band of Angels and Silicom Ventures seeded the company with institutional company after its founding in 1998. Neither the size of the round nor the company’s valuation at the time was disclosed.

Carolina Braunschweig can be contacted at: