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Membrion Raises $6 Million in Oversubscribed Series A Funding Round to Commercialize Breakthrough Membrane Technology

March 4, 2020 GMT

-- Will use funding to develop manufacturing facility in Seattle -- Has begun commercial production of membranes for water desalination industry -- Membranes are purpose-built for use in Electrodialysis Reversal (EDR) technology

SEATTLE, March 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Membrion, a manufacturer of lower cost, high performance ion exchange membranes, today announced it has closed its oversubscribed Series A round with a total of $6 million. The round, led by Bellingham Angel Investors, included participation from existing investors as well as new funding from WRF Capital and SeaChange Fund.

Membrion will use this funding to commence commercial production of its membranes at a new production facility being developed in Seattle. Although Membrion’s ion exchange membranes are applicable across a range of industries, the company is focused on the multi-billion dollar water desalination market, which is expanding due to increased demand to address looming fresh water shortages around the world.

“The continued support of our current investors as well as WRF Capital and SeaChange is testament to the potential of our team and technology to address one of the world’s most pressing problems – access to clean water,” said Greg Newbloom, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Membrion. “With this funding, we’re thrilled to move from the lab to commercial production, develop a new manufacturing facility and ramp up production for customers.”

Membrion manufactures membranes that are purpose-built for electrodialysis reversal (EDR) equipment that desalinates “brackish” water (defined as water that has more salt than freshwater, but not as much as seawater). Brackish water is most often found in estuaries and underground aquifers, and traditionally has been too difficult and expensive to purify. But Membrion’s high performing, lower cost membranes can now reduce the cost of desalination by up to 30 percent, thus unlocking the potential of brackish water as a source of fresh water.

“We’ve been impressed with the significant progress Greg and the team have made in the past year – getting customer acceptance and product revenue is a real achievement, and just the tip of the iceberg for Membrion,” said Craig Moore with Bellingham Angel Investors. “We’re excited to see what the team can do with the new funding, a new manufacturing facility and customer growth, and we’re proud to support them.”

Membrion leverages silica gel – an inexpensive, non-toxic material that is often packaged with new shoes, beef jerky and many other consumer products – to produce a novel class of commercial ceramic membranes. Membrion’s technology converts the highly absorbent, small-pore silica gel into flexible ceramic membranes that can be engineered to meet the needs of a wide range of applications. It does so at a dramatic cost reduction relative to the current industry-leading membranes.

About MembrionMembrion has developed breakthrough Molecular Self Assembly (MSA) technology that uses readily available, non-toxic and low-cost materials to produce advanced ceramic ion exchange membranes which perform better and cost significantly less than today’s ceramic and polymer options. Membrion is currently deploying this versatile technology to the rapidly growing desalination market, helping to address the global water crisis. More information is available at www.membrion.com

About Bellingham Angel InvestorsBellingham Angel Investors (BAI) is a leading angel investment group located in Bellingham, Washington. BAI invests in early stage companies in the Pacific Northwest from Vancouver BC to Portland, Oregon, for the purpose of accelerating the growth of entrepreneurial technology companies while building exceptional shareholder value. BAI is an experienced investor with approximately $30 million invested in over 50 companies over the last 10 years through both an investment fund and as individual angel investors. More information is available at www.bellinghamangelinvestors.com

About WRF CapitalWRF Capital is the venture investment arm of Washington Research Foundation, which was formed in 1981 to support research and scholarship in Washington state. As a leading early-stage investor, WRF Capital works with entrepreneurs, research institutions, other investors and industry partners to transform innovative technologies into products and services with public benefit. WRF Capital has funded 105 local startups since 1994, using its returns to invest in additional local startups and to support WRF’s grant-making activities. For additional information, please visit www.wrfcapital.com

About SeaChange FundSeaChange Fund invests in early-stage companies based in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), particularly those such as Membrion, capable of disrupting an industry. Since its founding in 2015, SeaChange has raised five funds, invested in 25 companies, completed five successful exits, supported more than 250 PNW jobs, and has over $19 million capital under management. When reviewing investment candidates, SeaChange deploys innovative processes collectively named its Collaborative Capital Model, wherein rigorous selection and diligence processes are completed by collaborating teams of its investors. More information is available at www.seachange.fund

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/86ac83f4-07bd-46d8-a320-214deb21d284

Media Contact: John Williams, Scoville PR for Membrion 206-660-5503, jwilliams@scovillepr.com