Sandpiper Ventures Leads Investment Round in East Coast Optical Materials Company, Coloursmith
July 20, 2021 - Halifax, Canada – Today, lead investor Sandpiper Ventures announced its investment in Coloursmith Labs Inc., based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This is the second investment from Sandpiper’s inaugural fund focused on women entrepreneurs, with an emphasis in Atlantic Canada. Coloursmith, a tech-enabled optical materials company, is disrupting the potential of modern eyewear with breakthrough optical filtering technology. The company can create endless varieties of novel optical filters in eyeglass and contact lenses. Specifically valuable are the firms’ products targeting colour enhancement and hazardous light protection.
“Optical filters are ingredients central to new product development in the vision care industry today,” says Morrgan Payne, CTO of Coloursmith. “These filters can be used to create innovative eyeglass and contact lens products that push the boundaries of human sight.”
“We started Coloursmith to bring life to the lens features market - creating optical filtering products for our clients that improve lives and vision,” says Gabrielle Masone, CEO of Coloursmith. “Sandpiper’s investment is meaningful beyond its purpose to accelerate Coloursmith’s growth into the global market. It marks another of a series of investments in statistically high performing women-led teams, which The Ewing Marian Kauffman Foundation established generate a 35% higher ROI than teams absent of women. Sandpiper’s investment also catalyses the positive regional impact we’re seeing from a growing Atlantic Canadian ecosystem. According to a 2020 study from Entrevestor, Atlantic Canadian startups employed about 7,200 people, 800 more than a year earlier. These are important achievements, and I would like to commend Sandpiper for their impactful work. I’m honoured to share this achievement with Sandpiper’s team of inspiring women.”
There is a significant scarcity of optical filtering ingredients that meet the vision care industry's high standards for what can go into lenses. This inaccessibility creates a barrier for growth in the lens features categories for the global eyewear industry, market valued at $147.60 billion USD by Grand View Research in 2020. Coloursmith’s unique method of optical filtering allows the company to create endless varieties of optical filters designed specifically for eyeglass and contact lenses.
“Coloursmith is leading change in an industry by working with global partners and creating technology to meet industry needs and standards,” says Cathy Bennett, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Sandpiper Ventures. “Gabrielle and her team have taken an idea from the lab, turned it into proprietary technology, and are growing a company the world needs for improved eyecare. We look forward to supporting this talented scientist and founder as she and her team at Coloursmith pursue their ambitious agenda of growth.”
Sandpiper is joined in this equity round by investors including Brigus Capital Inc., Island Capital Partners LP, and Killick Venture Fund LP.
“Sandpiper seeks companies pursuing scalable opportunities in international markets. Coloursmith, under Gabrielle’s leadership, has been introducing innovation to the eyecare industry with their global presence.”
- Cathy Bennett, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Sandpiper Ventures
“Coloursmith is a women owned business, supported by a team of extraordinary chemists, rolling out our vision for modern eyewear. I’m honoured to be working with the Sandpiper team, whose founders have for years been a source of inspiration. They are committed, bold, and informed. I can envision their positive impact for years to come.”
- Gabrielle Masone, CEO, Coloursmith
● Coloursmith was founded in 2018 by founder Gabrielle Masone. She leveraged the money raised from pitch competitions to fuel the early research conducted at Saint Mary’s University.
● Coloursmith’s pre-seed round for $600,000 CDN in June 2019 was oversubscribed. Since then, Coloursmith has opened an office in Innovacorp, doubled their intellectual assets, tripled their workforce, and demonstrated their technology on the commercial stage during COVID.
● Morrgan Payne accepted the position as Coloursmith’s CTO earlier this year after a series of accomplishments leading the firm’s research, development, and IP operations to successful ends.
● Coloursmith’s seed round for $2,000,000 CDN in July 2021 was oversubscribed. Funds raised will be used to progress the firm’s current products of interest to the global marketplace and grow the Atlantic Canadian team.
● Optical filters can be used to manage the amount and type of light experienced by the user, allowing for products that can target specific medical conditions. They can also be used to enhance vision for sport or performance applications.
● Few optical filtering materials are compatible with ophthalmic lenses, which severely limits the options available for new product development. Coloursmith's technology enables compatibility and allows for novel optical filtering products.
● BetaKit - Seven Atlantic Canada startups to watch in 2021
● Business Wire - Coloursmith Closes $600K Financing to Develop Lens
● Coloursmith Website - https://www.coloursmith.com/
About Sandpiper Ventures
Sandpiper Ventures (www.sandpiper.vc) is a seed stage venture capital fund committed to investing in women and women’s innovation as a proactive and profitable business decision. Sandpiper’s management team and active advisors are proven business leaders with deep industry experience and network access, providing access to unique deal-flow and the tools and networks to support portfolio companies to reach massive proportions.
For more information or to request an interview, please contact:
Sarah Young, Sandpiper Ventures
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