SANTA CLARA, CA, Gridtential, an innovator in low-cost, high-performance energy storage technologies, announced today it has completed an $11 million Series B equity raise.
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The round was led by 1955 Capital, with participation from leading U.S. and Chinese battery manufacturers East Penn Manufacturing, Crown Battery Manufacturing, Leoch International and Power-Sonic Inc., and existing investors The Roda Group and battery industry leader and Chairman Ray Kubis. With the rechargeable battery market expected to exceed $100 billion by 2025, Gridtential will use this new capital to expand development and licensing agreements to meet growing global demand for advanced energy storage in the automotive, backup power, grid solutions, and mobility industries.
Andrew Chung, 1955 Capital founder and managing partner, will join Gridtential's board of directors and help propel the company into the rapidly expanding hybrid vehicle and electricity storage markets. As a key player in both the North American and Chinese clean energy and technology markets, Chung will be a major asset to Gridtential's board.
"Gridtential's breakthrough approach to energy storage addresses the booming demand for vehicle electrification and grid-scale storage in China and other emerging markets, which fits our investment model here at 1955," said Andrew Chung, managing partner at 1955 Capital. "Gridtential could achieve exceptional, market leading cost and performance with a capital-efficient commercialization path by effectively leveraging existing manufacturing infrastructure and a well-established materials supply chain. It is rare to see so many leading battery producers cooperatively invest in a single company, which underscores the tremendous potential the industry sees in the Gridtential's Silicon Joule battery technology in the U.S., China, and beyond."
Gridtential has developed a new battery architecture called Silicon Joule Technology that combines the advantages of lead-acid batteries - low cost, safety, recyclability, and a wide temperature operating range - with the advantages associated with lithium-ion: fast charging/discharging, high depth of discharge, and long cycle life. The Gridtential technology breakthrough was the discovery that the battery's traditional lead grids could be replaced with plated silicon wafers similar to solar cells. Target applications include back-up power, grid storage including micro grids, portable power equipment, mobility (wheelchairs, golf carts, forklifts), and hybrid cars. In energy storage applications, Silicon Joule batteries will lower the levelized cost of energy (LCoE) by 75% or more.
Silicon Joule battery technology is designed to be compatible with the world's existing lead battery infrastructure. Gridtential's unique licensing model also enables lead battery manufacturers worldwide to produce compelling new 6-48V products by updating existing production lines and factories without giga-scale capital investments. Gridtential has provided hundreds of Silicon Joule batteries to its six partners. These pilot batteries showed an overall 2-5x cycle life improvement, dramatically higher power density and demonstrated a scalable assembly method. By bringing together the advances and scale of two decades-old industries, lead acid batteries and silicon, Gridtential has cracked the code on creating a scalable, cost-effective energy storage technology platform.
"We've made excellent progress with our licensing partners, and are in a strong position to accelerate Silicon Joule commercialization efforts to enable them to meet the mounting industry demand for 48V systems in addition to other diverse industrial applications, including back-up power and grid storage," said Ray Kubis, Gridtential Chairman. "It is also encouraging to see European automakers accelerate their push to 48V hybrid solutions in a concerted effort to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions in contrast to the previous focus on conventional diesel-based powertrains."
The 48V battery market for hybrid vehicles alone represents a $30 billion opportunity worldwide. Gridtential's proprietary Silicon Joule Technology will significantly reduce the cost barrier to create these 48V battery systems, and will ensure that these high-performance hybrid vehicles achieve the best fuel economy possible in a safe, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly way.
"We're pleased to have Andrew Chung join our board, as his expertise and experience helping companies commercialize in Asia will be invaluable to Gridtential as the company expands its commercial footprint in China and beyond," said Christiaan Beekhuis, Gridtential CEO. "We're fortunate to be working closely with industry-leading strategic partners and investors to meet increasing global demand for low-cost, high-performance energy storage."
About Gridtential Energy
Gridtential Energy's cutting-edge Silicon Joule battery architecture enhances the traditional benefits of lead batteries (low cost, safety, recyclability, and wide temperature range) with many lithium-like performance characteristics including fast charging/discharging, deep depth of discharge, and long cycle life. Gridtential is focused on applications ranging from 48V automotive hybrid batteries to grid storage, back-up power for cloud computing, material handling equipment and many others. With a global manufacturing base that is 70 times the size of Tesla's gigafactory efforts, Gridtential and its licensing partners will begin beta production of the Silicon Joule enabled batteries later this year, with a rapid scale up and commercial production in 2018. To learn more, visit: http://www.gridtential.com/.
About 1955 Capital
1955 Capital was founded in the Fall of 2015 by Andrew Chung to invest in companies in the Americas and Europe that can address the developing world's most pressing challenges related to energy, healthcare, food, agriculture, education and sustainable manufacturing. With over a decade of experience investing in these sectors at leading global firms like Khosla Ventures and Lightspeed Ventures, Chung has experience in identifying technologies with significant impact potential in China and other developing countries, and supporting entrepreneurs in developing mutually productive partnerships. The firm recently launched with $200 million in commitments and is based in Los Altos, California. More information is available at www.1955.capital.