Metamaterial Technologies Inc. of Dartmouth has received conditional approval for its public listing from the Canadian Securities Exchange, and expects to bring in as much as $30 million in capital in the coming months.
Founder and CEO George Palikaras said in an interview that the company, known as MTI, received approval from the Toronto-based stock exchange just before the holidays, and expects the shares to start trading by the end of March.
MTI, which makes synthetic materials that can alter the properties of light, plans to use some of the proceeds from the new capital to further develop its manufacturing facilities in Dartmouth.
“I like to joke that we’re bringing Silicon Valley to Dartmouth, and maybe in the future Silicon Dartmouth will be a reality,” said Palikaras in a phone interview from Las Vegas, where he is attending the Consumer Electronics Show.
Palikaras was unable to provide more details on the fund-raising, other than to say the new capital would be a mix of dilutive and non-dilutive funding. Dilutive funding is direct equity investment from shareholders while non-dilutive funding is loans and grants.
MTI announced in June that it planned to list on the CSE via a reverse takeover by Toronto-based Continental Precious Minerals, which already has a listing on the exchange. The CSE has now conditionally approved that deal, which will allow the listing to proceed pending a few other regulatory procedures. The company’s trading symbol will be MMAT.
Having already completed two acquisitions, MTI decided to seek the listing so it can raise more capital more quickly, especially for when trying to buy other companies. Palikaras said raising money in venture capital markets can be cumbersome for a deep-technology materials company, and due diligence is time consuming because VC funds don’t have sector specialists in the industry.
MTI so far has made its name in the aerospace industry – mainly through its joint venture with the European airplane manufacturer Airbus. The companies have worked together to produce laser glare protection films and eyewear to protect aircraft pilots from laser attacks.
Palikaras and his team have long planned to branch into other fields, and in the interview the CEO said the company will focus on the automotive and consumer electronics industries. (Palikaras is attending the CES in Las Vegas to meet with potential consumer electronics clients.)
The new capital will help the company develop its manufacturing capacity to enter these fields. MTI has recently identified a 50,000-square-foot facility in Dartmouth that it hopes will become its new manufacturing base. Palikaras said it is large enough to accommodate the company’s growth over the next few years.
MTI now employs more than 40 people, and Palikaras anticipates his staff will increase by 20 to 30 percent in 2020, with most of the hiring coming late in the year subject to customer traction.
He also anticipates growth in revenues. MTI has been in revenue since 2016, and product revenue is expected to increase with new product introductions and increased manufacturing capabilities. MTI has booked sales of about $1 million to $1.6 million in each year since 2016, and the company now has $3.5 million in orders on its books.
Said Palikaras: “We’re very excited about what 2020 will bring.”