Israel-based anti-bacterial fabric startup Sonovia Ltd. is trying to hop on the coronavirus (Covid-19) bandwagon all the way to NASDAQ. After its Sono Mask 9889 mask was approved for distribution and sale in the U.S. by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the company plans to register for trading on the OTC secondary list and aims for a $50 million valuation, though it has no significant revenue yet.
The company is still in the process of obtaining FDA approval for the institutional market, as they cannot be used by hospital medical staff yet.
Formerly Nano-Textile Ltd., Sonovia develops sonochemical coating for fabrics to make them anti-bacterial and odorless. The company was founded in 2014 and is based in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan. Sonovia has raised $14.5 million to date. The company has raised funds not from traditional VCs, but rather from Horizon 2020, the European Union’s research and innovation program.
The company’s mask is made from virus and bacteria repellent fabrics. Sonovia had originally intended to enter primarily the hospital market and offer anti-bacterial sheets, but since the outbreak of the epidemic, it has pivoted and began to manufacture masks from its patented fabric. The masks are multipurpose and can be washed up to 100 times, according to company statements.
The masks are sold on Sonovia's site, and the bulk of the demand is from the U.S. market, although they are not cheap, with prices ranging from $50 to $70 per mask. According to company data, the mask filters 98% of particles of up to 5 microns in compliance with WHO standards. This filtering rate is higher than the capabilities of the N95 masks, which are also very popular in Israel. According to the company, the mask retains its protective properties for 65 rounds of industrial laundry.