D3O, a developer of protective materials for the sports, military, and automotive industries, will receive a $19 million investment from the Farmington Hills-based private equity firm Beringea and various partners.
Based in East Sussex, England, D3O’s technology produces a material with high shock absorbing properties. The company’s impact-protection products are used in sports, military, and work wear. The company also created a football helmet liner designed to reduce brain trauma.
D3O products were also used in the 2006 Winter Olympics, when the U.S. and Canadian ski teams wore D3O’s material as a protective suit under normal ski clothing.
“We’re especially excited about the applications for the sports, industrial, and automotive markets,” says Michael Gross, managing director at Beringea. “Our proximity to metro Detroit’s automotive supply base and D3O research partner Wayne State University will allow us to be an important conduit to the company’s U.S. expansion.”
Beringea provides equity or mezzanine debt (debt capital that gives the lender the rights to convert to an ownership or equity interest in the company if the loan is not paid back in time and in full) to small and middle market companies. Beringea also operates an office in London.
Of the $19 million raised, about $13 million was invested by Beringea. The firm has also raised money for companies such as the Detroit Institute of Music Education, a college located in Detroit’s Capitol Park that is dedicated to teaching the next generation of musicians, and Great Lakes Caring, a provider of home and hospice care, among others.