Air quality technology start-up Airlabs has secured around $5 million in investment to fund research and development it has announced this week.
According to the company, the funding is made up of US$4 million from investment holding company SGO and angel investors, plus US$1 million invested by the founders of the business.
It comes as the London and Copenhagen-based company prepares to ship the first units of its flagship product – airbubbl – a carbon nano-filter primarily designed for use in cars, which the company claims is capable of removing around 95% of pollutants from air that passes through it.
Around 187 people have pledged to purchase the airbubbl unit via the company’s Kickstarter campaign – with shipping expected to begin this month (October), having initially been anticipated in the summer.
The airbubbl is also available for pre-order via the company’s website – at a cost of £220 per unit.
The new funding comes at the same time as Airlabs has appointed a new chief executive, Marc Ottolini, who had previously spent 14 years at Philips Electronics.
Commenting, Mr Ottolini, said: “If you drive or ride in any city today, you are breathing pollution that is equivalent to smoking a few cigarettes each day. It’s worse than that, as urban air contains more toxic gasses than cigarette smoke. If you are a professional driver or commute for longer than 15 minutes a day – you are at serious risk.
“With airbubbl you can breathe clean air, which will make you feel better and stay healthy. With the launch of our first mass-market product the time has come for us to come out of stealth mode.â€?
SGO is an investment holding company that provides funds for ventures developing technology-enabled solutions for social impact.
Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, chairman of SGO, said: “We have invested in what we believe is one of the most exciting technology companies of our times.
“Airlabs has created unique IP that efficiently cleans polluted air, tackling one of society’s most pressing problems.â€?