We’ve seen how some private companies go from being small startups to the hottest thing since sliced bread. The question then becomes, how do they do it?
New York-based GrapheneCA has the most important ingredient for building a big business: real value in its offer.
The privately held company first began producing graphene flakes in July of 2017 from its production facility in Brooklyn, New York. Its second graphene production line in Brooklyn is now fully operational and will increase production tenfold of the wonder material.
GrapheneCA’s production technology uses only water, natural graphite and energy. The company's eco-friendly technology preserves graphene and ships it efficiently in pristine condition. The company produces at least seven different graphene-based products including graphene flakes, aqueous graphene paste to graphene-silicon dioxide composites.
For its very low weight, graphene is 100 times stronger than steel, and yet flexible. It’s also a better conductor than copper. As its name indicates, graphene is extracted from graphite, the material used in pencils. However, graphite has a three-dimensional crystalline arrangement, while graphene is a two-dimensional crystal only an atom thick.
Proactive Investors sat down with Robles to learn more about how GrapheneCA was unlocking new possibilities for the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry by delivering very pure graphene.
Robles, who is the founder CEO of online marketing and advertising agency CHEGO Inc, has the leadership and business skills to steer GrapheneCA through its hyper-growth phase.
Can you tell us why graphene is described as a miracle material that will change the world?
In 2010, graphene became the first substance in years to earn a Nobel Prize for new materials research and invention. Since then, graphene has earned a reputation as the super material of the 21st century. Graphene exhibits many of the highest know properties for strength, flexibility, thermal and electric conductivity; it has the lightest weight, filtration capacities, lubricity, and capacitance (the ability of a system to store an electric charge). Since Graphene is primarily an additive it imparts these properties to other materials and is ushering in a new age in most industries and making good on the promises of plastics (composites), cement, power and storage from the last century.
Graphene is anticipated by the end of this century to eclipse both the petrol and steel industries in terms of size, making it a miracle for the markets.
It is the material that was searched for by alchemists studying the ‘philosopher's stone’ which is graphite.
Graphene applications have the potential to avert many ELA class events, with the potential to provide abundant drinking water from sea water, store power at levels only dreamed of and it can displace fossil fuels in terms of energy potential, convert photons to electricity, inherently providing new possibilities for solar applications.
What prompted the company to leap into the graphene business?
Our group started R&D on our method of graphene production eight years ago. We had experience in an earlier company using controlled harmonic energies to cause tens of thousands micro explosions per second in a focused zone using liquid mediums. When we learned the potential of graphene, we immediately knew this was the future and began our work. It was in July 2017 when we launched our first graphene production line. We view graphene as a technology not a mineral resource, as it is always a manufactured material and not a commodity. Our applications for the product heavily focuses on the technological capacities.
Word on the street is that you want to be the first graphene unicorn and the Apple of the graphene and carbon world with smart design products. Please comment.
We are a technology house; we produce our own equipment and then products based on our unique graphene. Our mobile units and cost of production are quietly establishing us in the industry as leaders. We look at ourselves like Apple, and our customers like the developers who populate the app store and provide use cases for the base technology. Once industrial users have access to our products, technology and solutions they begin to integrate it in their production directly. The increasing demand for graphene and our unique, economical supply arrangement makes scaled graphene solution widely available to industry now. With what we have set in motion, we are starting to feel conservative in our estimates.
It is thought that 90% of the world's supply of graphene is impure and what is commonly called graphene is actually graphene oxide. What is GrapheneCA manufacturing in Brooklyn which is different?
We don't use any harsh chemicals. Graphene oxide is made using a variety of toxic methods and is very complex, further it must often be reduced to be usable in applications. Chemically the two molecules exhibit very different properties. For instance, graphene oxide is water soluble, while graphene is highly water phobic and conductive. Even the name graphene oxide is a misrepresentation of the real molecule which has many types of oxygen containing groups at the edges.
In contrast our graphene is incredibly pure at 99%+ carbon purity and is in a ready-to-use form for a wide variety of applications. When we start to discuss agricultural and biotech or cosmetic applications where purity is key because of the potential for particles reaching open waters there is no comparison in terms of safety, one is safe and the other has some rather large question marks and early indicators of potential hazardous properties.
What is driving the demand for graphene and how big is the addressable market?
Great question, there are a few key industries driving massive demand. These industries include the cement, automotive, marine, aviation, coatings, batteries/power storage and flexible electronics. There is not enough graphene in the world to supply them, and by some estimates demand will continue to exceed supply until 2048. These are the earliest days of what may become earth's largest industrial sector. It’s very hard to say what the future looks like, but the only sure thing now is graphene will play an integral role.
In layman's terms, GrapheneCA has managed to mix its high-quality graphene with a wide variety of gels with low temperature processes. Does this open the door to a multitude of high-tech applications ranging from the electronics sector through to the pharmaceutical industry?
Yes, a two-part question, we have unlocked a whole new level of possibilities for pharma, cosmetics and flexible technology. Our low heat gel process allows us to blend with most active ingredients nondestructively. In terms of delivery not much has changed for about 70 years, we are excited to have some disruptive technology.
In terms of electronics, it's one step closer to nearly indestructible flexible, wearable and implantable electronics that live up to consumer expectations. We are playing with tomorrow's tech today.
The company has expanded its catalog and continues to announce new graphene products and technology. What are your revenue streams and how much revenue do you expect to post in 2019? Please elaborate on the company's long-term growth potential.
Our first major revenue streams will be based on our cement formulations together with graphene. Followed by coatings, resin epoxies, composites and then water filters, sensors, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
These launch products are built to maximize the potential for manufacturers to utilize our mobile units and high-volume efficient production.
Over time we think the sky is the limit. We have carved out a good niche, with our mobile units. We are in strong position with demand increasing much more than supply and our ability to supply solutions to graphene users at scale. Plus, we don't have large expenses going forward for massive facilities or to increase staff, basically, it is a very clean business model. We are just receiving our first revenue from sales now and have not shown significant revenue yet.
It's worth noting that we didn't discuss the value of our growing portfolio of proprietary IP, the razor-edge model of creating consumable graphene products for regulated industries incorporating data networks we control.
We have a plan to keep our company in the news with extremely cool products, in what seems to be the hottest industry for the next century.
Contact Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]