19th October 2017

Deal of the Week: NM startup lands a key investment from major Silicon Valley name

At $350,000, the investment in this Deal of the Week is smaller than many we recognize in this space. But that amount of investment can be transformational for a startup — especially when it comes from an entity backed by one of Silicon Valley's biggest names.

The skinny

UbiQD, a nanotechnology company founded in Los Alamos in 2014, announced it was named as one of Breakout Labs' newest portfolio companies.

The numbers

Being a portfolio company comes with $350,000 in early-stage financing. UbiQD's total funding now stands at $1.6 million.

The details

Breakout Labs, a seed-stage revolving fund based in San Francisco, was created in 2011 by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. It is part of the Thiel Foundation.

What's next

UbiQD focuses on manufacturing quantum dots and nanocomposites to give windows the ability to generate electricity. The startup plans to use the new funding to refine its luminescent solar concentrator technology, which helps consolidate solar energy to produce electricity.

Why it's significant

New Mexico tech firms often bemoan the lack of capital flowing within and into the state. Having a New Mexican firm get noticed by Peter Thiel's foundation is a big deal, and UbiQD says it's the first time that's happened. Thiel is the co-founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook, with a reported net worth of $2.6 billion (and you're almost as likely to have heard of Thiel because of his funding of Hulk Hogan's Gawker lawsuit as his business dealings.) Hunter McDaniel, UbiQD's founder and CEO, will be presenting at Breakout Labs' 'unboxing' event in Silicon Valley on Oct. 19. He told Albuquerque Business First the event's list of attendees includes "hundreds of top-tier investors," which could lead to even more investments from the area.

More about UbiQD

What's in a name? Theirs means "ubiquitious quantum dots."

Number of employees: 10

Home sweet home: In early August, UbiQD was approved for a $325,000 interest-free Local Economic Development Act loan to buy its 9,000-square-foot headquarters. Its price tag is $650,000, McDaniel previously told Business First.

Original Write-up on Albuquerque Business First by Rachel Sams