Halifax-based Graphite Innovation & Technologies (GIT), which provides sustainable coating for marine shipping vessels, has closed a $10 million CAD Series A funding round.
Spun out of Dalhousie University in 2017, GIT claims its graphene-based, eco-friendly marine coatings can help vessel owners and operators increase fuel efficiency, reduce drag, and optimize a vessel’s hydrodynamics and performance.
GIT’s products don’t leach toxins or microplastics into bodies of water.
GIT’s Series A funding round was led by BDC Capital’s Climate Tech Fund, with participation from a syndicate of climate, ocean, and maritime investors including Seventure Partners’ Blue Forward Fund, Stolt Ventures (bulk-liquids logistics and aquaculture company Stolt-Nielsen’s investment arm), Farvatn Ventures, Melancthon Capital, and Invest Nova Scotia, among other undisclosed new and existing investors.
A spokesperson for GIT told BetaKit that the startup exceeded its original fundraising target with the $10 million being all equity, which includes $4 to $5 million in grants.
According to GIT, this investment will help the startup reach more users globally with the overall aim of supporting the marine transportation sector in its sustainability goals.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) oversees shipping operations across international waters and is responsible for the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships. In 2018, the organization established a strategy meant to slash carbon emissions in the marine shipping sector by at least half by 2050. As part of that initiative, IMO implemented the carbon intensity index (CII) earlier this year to measure the energy efficiency and emissions of each vessel.
GIT claims its sustainable coating solutions can help vessel owners score higher on their CII. The startup said its coatings don’t contain biocides nor silicone-oils. Its products don’t leach toxins or microplastics into bodies of water, unlike traditional marine coatings that are available on the market, according to GIT.
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In addition to using ocean-safe materials, GIT said its coatings can also absorb underwater radiant noise, which can reduce stress on sensitive marine life and ecosystems. The coatings can also be applied across a wider temperature range, which increases the length of the coating season.
In 2020, Transport Canada awarded GIT with a contract to work on a $2.4 million project meant to reduce noise levels and GHG emissions from small inshore fishing boats. As part of the initiative, GIT is testing its marine coating solutions on Indigenous-owned and operated vessels.
The funds raised in this Series A round will be used to expand the production capacity of GIT’s sustainable marine coatings, establish partnerships to accelerate commercialization, and invest in the development of “next generation coatings,” said GIT.
Featured image courtesy GIT.