Ohio State University spinoff Simple-Fill Inc., working toward developing production models of low-cost, low-maintenance natural gas compressors, has raised $420,000 of a potential $450,000 round, according to a regulatory filing.
CEO Rob Underhill said he could not comment on the still-open round. Founders typically do not comment until a private round is closed to avoid incurring extra Securities and Exchange Commission requirements of a public offering. There are six investors in the round, according to a Form D.
The 4-year-old company raised $1.7 million just over a year ago to set up pilot projects with two fleet customers. The first company to test the compressors was Columbus-based Safelite Group Inc.
Simple-Fill licenses technology from Ohio State that uses liquid and hydraulic pumps to compress the gas. Conventional compressors use hundreds of spinning parts, so they’re more expensive, noisier, difficult to maintain and can leak methane. Simple-Fill hopes its technology will allow more small and medium fleets to adopt CNG fuel.
Other Central Ohio corporations helped the startup get off the ground: Worthington Industries Inc. (NYSE:WOR) provides two components and helps in manufacturing, and Honda of America Manufacturing Inc. provided some funding. Simple-Fill is based at Rev1 Ventures, across the street from OSU’s Center for Automotive Research where the technology was developed.