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Airborne International, a leading provider of advanced composite solutions for a variety of industrial applications, accelerates its growth strategy by completing a Series C round. SABIC, via its corporate venturing arm, has invested growth capital in composites specialist Airborne International B.V. (“Airborne”) in The Hague. With this investment, SABIC joins a growth financing round by existing shareholders including Pangaea Ventures Fund III, L.P., HPE PRO Institutional Fund B.V., InnovationQuarter Capital and Innovatiefonds Brabant B.V..

Investing in growth strategy

The Series C financing round will contribute to Airborne’s full automation and digitization of composite manufacturing of goods that require less weight and higher strength from an array of industries.

In many markets like Aerospace, Automotive, Oil & Gas, Consumer Electronics and Sporting Goods, lightweight and durability are key industry drivers. Continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic composite materials offer the potential to address these needs. SABIC’s composite thermoplastic solutions coupled with Airborne’s know-how offers the unique opportunity to realize the mass production of lighter and stronger applications in a more cost effective way.

Digital infrastructure for thermoplastic composite automation technologies

Airborne is a technology leader in the design, production and industrialization of advanced composite products for aerospace and marine sectors. Airborne is on a growth path to become the leading platform in composite automated manufacturing technologies. With the new investment, Airborne will implement the digital infrastructure that will serve as a backbone for thermoplastic composite automation technologies.

An important next step

“A radical increase of the level of automation and digitalization as well as the availability of information throughout the supply chain will be a crucial success factor in the composites industry. Combined with the integration of information from material to product, this is the core of Airborne’s strategy. Joining forces with SABIC is an important step towards our new strategy becoming a frontrunner in automation and digitization of composite manufacturing. Attracting the world leading advanced chemicals company to invest in Airborne is a great confirmation of our strategy. We are very enthusiastic about the added value SABIC will bring to our company’s development and disruptive innovations,” said Arno van Mourik, Founder and CEO of Airborne International.

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Maintenance and repair activities in Woensdrecht

Miriam Dragstra, director BOM Capital comments: ”We are very pleased with SABIC as additional shareholder and key partner and customer in the further development of Airborne International, and in particular its composite automation agenda which is a key example of how Manufacturing 4.0 will be implemented and which will enable complex composite products to be made at very low cost and with high flexibility. This strategy will also facilitate strong cost reductions in the maintenance and repair activities in Woensdrecht, which is a major growth core for the company. BOM is therefore pleased to support the company further in this C round along with the other existing and new shareholders.”

Hidden innovative potential of Zuid-Holland

Francis Quint, Head of Capital, InnovationQuarter, remarks: “The commitment of a global leading chemical company such as SABIC and existing shareholders confirm first of all Airborne International’s automation and digitization strategy to expand the reach of composites beyond traditional industries but also re-emphasizes the hidden innovative potential of our region, Zuid-Holland. InnovationQuarter is honored to support the completion of this Series C round.”

EFRO / European regional development fund of the European Union