"The investors particularly appreciate Altair's focus on near-term markets, such as batteries, catalysts, pharmaceuticals and thermal spray coatings," said William Long, Altair chief executive officer.

Altair is also developing nanomaterials with applications in fuel cells, solar cells, cosmetics, paints and environmental remediation. In late April, the company was awarded its first patent, "Processing titaniferous ore to titanium dioxide pigment", by the US Patent Office. Now, Altair is filing additional patent applications that cover the manufacture of titanium dioxide nanoparticles.

Back in March, Altair filed a joint patent with Irish nanotech start-up NTera. The companies have been collaborating on nanosized lithium titanate spinel materials for use in rechargeable lithium ion batteries.