KAUST-based startup NOMADD (NO-water Mechanical Automated Dusting Device) recently closed a Series A funding round from the KAUST Innovation Fund totaling $1 million. NOMADD is a smart and ecological desert solar panel cleaning system developed at KAUST by Georg Eitelhuber, NOMADD’s founder and current chief technology officer.
NOMADD obtained its initial seed funding and IP protection from KAUST, and this latest financial boost will allow it to continue to establish a strong footprint in Saudi Arabia, hire key staff and carry out testing activities with potential customers.
Solar energy in the GCC
“NOMADD’s dust mitigation technology will help make solar energy viable in the GCC region, one of the major global markets for solar energy in the coming decades. We are grateful for the vote of confidence that this funding represents and look forward to further commercialization,” said NOMADD’s CEO Jos van der Hyden.
“With its strategically connected array of programs, top-notch facilities and staff and funding opportunities for startups, the University’s innovation ecosystem nurtures startups to accelerate their game-changing technologies,” added Mark Crowell, KAUST vice president of Innovation and Economic Development. “We are pleased to provide this financing round for NOMADD and further develop the overall venture capital scene in Saudi Arabia.”
Commitment to regional startups
Nicola Bettio, manager of the KAUST Innovation Fund, added, “This investment is a first in a series of technology-based investments that demonstrates our ongoing commitment to build and support the local early-stage startup community. We want to become long-term partners of the startups in which we invest. We are not just acquiring minority shareholdings, but are also supporting the development of these companies through strategic guidance and constant operational support.”
The KAUST Innovation Fund
KAUST Innovation and Economic Development (I&ED) helps maximize the University’s contribution to the economic diversification of Saudi Arabia and the country’s transformation into a knowledge-based economy. The KAUST Innovation Fund, one of I&ED’s main activities, supports technology-based startups from seed to early-stage and invests in high-profile international technology companies willing to establish their operations in Saudi Arabia and benefit from KAUST research.