On July 4, 36Kr reported that Efmat, an innovative metal materials development and production platform, announced the completion of a round A of financing worth tens of millions of yuan. The leading investor was Sequoia China Seed Fund, and co-investors were Qianhai FOF, Hong Kong X Fund and existing shareholder Oriza Holding. The funds are marked for use in technical build up, market expansion and recruitment.
Efmat has innovatively developed steel materials in the fields of automobiles, molds, springs and wear resistance. Its products were first used in cars. Every year, the steel consumption of autos worldwide is about 80 million tons, of which 40% is made of body steel to ensure safety in collisions. Reducing the thickness of some parts can drastically reduce the overall weight of a car. But the reduction must be made on the premise of stronger material strength and toughness, otherwise collision safety will be reduced.
Efmat considers integrated car body manufacturing as the most economic method that consumes the lowest amount of carbon. Owing to cost advantages, new materials and new processes can make 80 million cars in this way.
The team in charge has extensive experience in the cross-border disciplines of steel and auto manufacturing. Xiong Xiaochuan, co-founder and CEO, graduated from Ecole des Mines, France. He majored in materials science, and worked in research and development and commercialization of materials in European steel companies, Shanghai Jiaotong University and US auto companies. Co-founder and CTO Yi Hongliang holds a Ph.D. in materials science from Pohang University of Science and Technology, South Korea. He once worked as a material engineer of the China Automotive Engineering Research Institute and was an executive of a steel company.
When talking about competition, co-founder Xiong Xiaochuan said: “If you do some research, you will find that few kinds of steel used in automobiles were invented by steel companies. Instead, European and American auto companies and universities participated in a lot of innovation work of automobile steel manufacturing. We hope to inherit the material development tradition of the auto companies, but want to accelerate the speed of research by at least five times.”