Baltimore nanocrystals maker raises $5.1 million in funding

Pixelligent Technologies, a maker of miniscule crystal additives used in electronics and plastics products, said Friday it has raised more than $5.1 million in new funding from the Abell Foundation and others.

The funding will allow the Baltimore company to increase manufacturing capacity and hire application, engineering and business development employees, Pixelligent said. The company, which got its start in a College Park incubator, now has more than 30 commercial customers and hopes to open additional plants in Baltimore, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

The company's nanocrystal additives, made with zirconia and hafnia, are used to boost the performance of smartphone screens, TV displays, computer chips and synthetic oil and to strengthen plastics. Demand for nanocrystal products has jumped in the past year, with the fastest growth in Asia, said CEO Craig Bandes in a statement.

The funding came from new and existing investors with the Abell Foundation taking the lead. The company has raised $14 million in equity funding in the past five years and has been awarded more than $9 million in federal grants.

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