Investment #17: Captivate

We’re excited to announce that we have closed a syndicated investment into Captivate Technology Limited (Captivate), a spin-out from Massey University. This $750,000 seed round was led by Matū Karihi, with co-investors Massey Ventures Limited, New Zealand Growth Capital Partners, and the Booster Innovation Fund.

Captivate joins our cleantech portfolio and contributes to the global portfolio of innovative technologies that will play a critical role in our sustainable transition towards a greener future. 

Captivate will enter this growing market by commercialising their metal-organic framework (MOF), MUF-16, for carbon capture applications. MUF-16 was developed through the incredible research of Massey University’s Professor in Chemistry, Prof Shane Telfer, PhD student Omid Qazvini, and Postdoctoral Researcher, Subo Lee.

MOFs are porous solid materials consisting of linked metal ions that act as ‘sponges’ for specific molecules, and industry can use MOFs to adsorb particular molecules such as carbon dioxide (CO2). MOFs have enormous potential for sequestration of CO2 emitted from primary sources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. MUF-16 achieves CO2 adsorption as a solid-state material, meaning it’s more environmentally friendly, easier to handle, more energy-efficient, and long-lived than traditional amine systems.

We urgently need to slash greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. However, emissions from industry can be among the hardest to abate in the energy system due to process emissions that result from chemical or physical reactions and the need for high-temperature heat. Demand for cement, steel, and chemicals will remain vital to support a growing and increasingly urbanised global population, but future production of these materials must be more efficient if climate goals are to be met. For some of the hardest to abate industrial and fuel change processes, carbon capture at the point of production will likely be one of the most cost-effective solutions large-scale industries can deploy to reduce emissions.

Interest has already been expressed from industrial players and manufacturers in NZ, from cement manufacturers and geothermal power plants to breweries and wineries. These partners recognise that carbon capture technology is already proving to be a powerful tool in the fight against climate change. We have also seen globally strengthened and tailored policy responses to support industry transformation consistent with climate goals. These developments give us increased confidence that this technology has sufficient backing from governments and critical industrial players seeking to preserve competitiveness while also tackling their emissions. This technology will address the decarbonisation challenge while supporting sustainable and competitive industries.

Captivate is currently looking to conduct further pilot-scale demonstrations of carbon capture using MUF-16 and will move to establish a demonstration plant soon. Shane will be joined by Mark Cleaver from Massey Ventures and Dr Andrew Chen (Chair) from Matū on the Board of Directors. As investors, we look forward to working closely with Shane and his team to support their growth. 

About Matū Karihi Fund – Matū runs venture capital funds investing in early-stage science and technology commercialisation from education and research institutions and the private sector. As an open and evergreen fund, Matū Karihi takes a long-term investment view and aims to turn ground-breaking ideas into globally focused, IP-rich companies. Matū provides intelligent capital with active governance, executive management, operational support, and mentorship for founding and executive teams:

About Massey Ventures – A wholly owned subsidiary of Massey University, Massey Ventures is the company responsible for commercialising intellectual property and innovative research from the University. In addition to working with other investors, Massey Ventures provides access to early-stage investment capital to support the development of commercially promising ideas:

About New Zealand Growth Capital Partners – An investment fund established by the New Zealand Government to help build a vibrant early-stage technology investment market in New Zealand. They operate Aspire, a generalist seed fund, which invests into high-growth technology-based Kiwi start-ups at the proof of concept, seed and early expansion stages. Aspire also has a focus on deep-tech and emerging sectors that are currently relatively under-served by private sector investors:

About Booster – Booster is one of the six government-appointed default KiwiSaver scheme providers with over 170,000 investors and $5 billion under management across KiwiSaver, Superannuation and Investment Schemes. Booster has a focus on supporting New Zealand businesses through specialist direct investment funds, including the Booster Innovation Fund (BIF), the Tahi Fund and the Private Land and Property Fund (PLPF).  NZX listed BIF provides all Kiwis the opportunity to invest in the future of these young companies founded on innovative research, which are traditionally only available to wholesale investors. BIF investment supports in the commercialisation of these early stage technologies originating or developed in New Zealand: