Textile manufacturer NanoLayr is expanding its business as it continues to experience global demand for its face mask filters and skincare masks.
The Auckland-based firm, formerly known as Revolution Fibres, has recently moved from a 300sq m facility to a new Māngere factory almost 20 times larger to keep up with demand.
Its operations have expanded rapidly in the last year, scaling up production of its nanofibre filtration material, which provides protection that meets N95 and N99 standards.
In the last three months it has produced more nanofibre than its previous 10 years combined and expanded its team from around 10 to 50 employees since March 2020.
The company has experienced 440 per cent growth in the last year.
"We're running a 24/6 operation at the moment and we're adding more machines and more staff, growing to keep up," NanoLayr chief executive Ray Connor told the Herald.
"We've moved from essentially having two R&D machines a year ago to now having five production machines at scale."
NanoLayr spent 10 years as an R&D company focusing on developing its technology. Two weeks before the first lockdown last year, it closed a series A seed funding round, raising $6 million, which enabled it to hire an executive team and commercialise its technology.
NanoLayr was the largest recipient of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Covid-19 Innovation Acceleration Fund, receiving $950,000 to support the country's response to meet global and local PPE demand.
The fund contributed to NanoLayr's work to deliver specialist product advancements for the Government, including developing an anti-microbial filter application.
The company produces nanofibre – a textile made of superfine fibres 1/500th the width of a human hair – for a diverse range of sectors including anti-viral filtration and skincare, through to sound insulation and structural strengthening in Formula One cars and the aerospace industry.
As well as filtration, NanoLayr's recent growth has been driven by demand for its full suite of products, including sales of its premium marine collagen skincare product ActivLayr, proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles by 19 per cent. This product has been hugely popular in Asian markets such as South Korea, Hong Kong, China, and Singapore.
Connor said an IPO and sharemarket listing was on the horizon for the firm.
NanoLayr is in the early stages of exploring a listing and had no solid plans at this stage, but he said it was the next logical stage and part of the company's five-year outlook.
Each of the company's four products could easily become $100m businesses in five years' time, Connor said.
"For us, the aim in the next three to five years is to reach those great heights and hit those revenue levels that we're aspiring for - there's no reason why we can't be one of New Zealand's great technology companies."