Phoenix Nuclear Labs is bolstering its bank account, beefing up staff and adding to its quarters.
Phoenix, a Monona company that makes neutron and proton generators used in the health, defense and energy fields, raised $12 million this fall, in a round led by a new investor, Deerfield Management Co., a New York health care investment firm. Most of the money is in the form of a loan that eventually is expected to be converted to stock in the company, if Phoenix reaches certain milestones.
“We have worked with the Phoenix management team over the course of two years leading up to our investment, and we have great confidence in its ability to execute its vision and continue to grow Phoenix into a leading global technology company,” said Steve Hochberg, a partner on Deerfield’s private transactions team.
Phoenix’s machines — costing anywhere from $1 million to $10 million — are used for a variety of purposes, from checking U.S. Army weapons for defects to thinly slicing silicon for use in solar panels to testing the effect of radiation on electronic components used in outer space.
Evan Sengbusch, vice president of business development, would not disclose the company’s annual revenue but said 2017 revenue is more than four times the company’s revenue in 2016 thanks to more than half a dozen new contracts from commercial and government customers.
“We expect to be at break-even this year,” Sengbusch said. “It’s a big milestone for Phoenix.”
Phoenix Nuclear Labs, which has shortened its name to Phoenix, has 56 employees, up from 23 in early 2016, and plans to add 30 more by the end of 2018.
The company, at 2555 Industrial Drive, has leased space in a second Monona building, just across the street, and is looking for a site to build a 50,000- to 75,000-square-foot building in which it plans to consolidate operations in the first half of 2019.
Phoenix was founded in 2005, based on research that began at UW-Madison.
The company has raised a total of $18 million since its start. Past investors, based in Wisconsin, participated in the latest funding round.
The investment and Deerfield’s resources “will be critical in fueling the personnel and infrastructure investments needed to accelerate our growth,” Phoenix president Ross Radel said.
Phoenix also provides neutron generators for SHINE Medical Technologies, which is building a campus in the Janesville area to produce molybdenum-99, a radioactive isotope that decays into technetium-99m, which is used in millions of medical imaging scans for cancer and heart problems each year.
SHINE split off from Phoenix in 2010.