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Infographic – Graphene Investment in Decline

Investments in graphene start-ups

Investments in graphene start-ups, 2008 to 2017. Click on image for full-size view. (CB Insights)

19 May 2018. Almost from the day we started Science & Enterprise, we’ve reported on research and development on graphene, a material with many highly desired properties for a wide range of industries. Graphene is closely related to graphite like that used in pencils. The material is very light, strong, chemically stable, and can conduct both heat and electricity, with applications in electronics, energy, and health care. In 2010, two researchers at University of Manchester in the U.K. received the Nobel Prize in physics for their discoveries on graphene.

In the time we’ve reported on graphene, we also waited for meaningful commercialization of the technology. In a report this week, our friends at CB Insights show that the investment community is also waiting for graphene to reach a critical commercial mass, but their patience may be running out, the highlight of this weekend’s infographic.

As noted by CB Insights, venture investment in start-up enterprises developing graphene applications peaked in 2015, with more than $36 million placed in 11 deals, but since then has dropped off markedly. In 2017, start-ups working in graphene raised only 2.3 million, down from $17 million in 2016. The only bright spot in the report is the number of investment deals rose in 2017 to 8, from a near decade-low 2 deals in the previous year.  The CB Insights report shows as well a similar pattern for investments in carbon nanotube technologies.

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