Battery Industry Leaders Invest $18 Million in Seattle Start-up: Group14 Technologies to Scale Li-ion Anode Material That Promises 30% Improvement in Energy and Cost
New funds will be used to scale up manufacturing of a next generation anode material and advance into commercial production; Amperex Technologies Limited (ATL), BASF Venture Capital, Showa Denko, and Cabot Corporation all participating.
SEATTLE: Group14 Technologies (https://www.group14technologies.com) today announced $18 million in new financing from Amperex Technologies Limited (ATL), Showa Denko (SDK), Cabot Corporation, BASF Venture Capital, and OVP Venture Partners. The new funds will be used to scale up manufacturing of a next generation anode material and advance into commercial production.
“The participation of these industry leaders together is strong validation of our product’s performance, scalability, and strong intellectual property position, not to mention the enormous market opportunity,” said Rick Luebbe, Co-Founder and CEO, Group14 Technologies. “When the automotive industry is fully electrified, there will be a nearly trillion-dollar battery industry, 25 times bigger than today. Partnering with the most influential players in the space, we’ll be playing a significant role in making a fully-electrified automotive reality happen faster.”
Automotive icon, visionary and Group14 Board Member, Bob Lutz adds: “The opportunity to aggressively advance the electrification of the transportation system is right now. It is innovative materials that will create the greatest impact. Group14 Technologies will be one of the companies that helps to make electric vehicles widespread and ubiquitous.”
An Innovative Process — Incorporating Silicon Into a Porous Carbon Framework
Group14 Technologies manufactures novel lithium-ion battery materials that boost battery performance. Unlike competing technologies, Group14’s materials are designed for low cost and “drop in” compatibility with existing lithium-ion battery production. Group14’s materials dramatically improve Li-ion battery costs and will help electric vehicles reach cost parity with internal combustion engine-powered cars.
Covered by extensive composition of matter and process patents, Group14 Technologies’ breakthrough is a novel, cost-effective process, which allows the company to combine nanostructured porous carbon with silicon to form a sponge-like composite. This structure provides high capacity and structural integrity through extended battery cycling.
“The lithium-ion battery industry is aggressively seeking higher performance anode materials to improve battery performance, and Group14’s silicon-carbon composite is uniquely positioned to fill that need,” said Henry “Rick” Costantino, Ph.D., Co-Founder and CTO, Group14 Technologies.
Adds Luebbe: “The electrification of the transportation system is a global infrastructure issue and opportunity. ATL, SDK, Cabot, BASF and OVP provide unmatched experience that will extend our materials footprint and our impact on the industry.”
“We have a strong interest in Group14 Technologies’ silicon-carbon composite as a high-performance anode material for next generation lithium ion batteries. This product’s high first cycle efficiency, exceptional cycle life, and drop-in compatibility with existing graphite anode processes and equipment will enable its rapid adoption.” said Joe Kit Chu Lam, Executive Vice-President of ATL.
Group14 Investor Overview:
ATL (Amperex Technologies Limited), based in Hong Kong with manufacturing operations in China, is a world’s leading producer and innovator of lithium-ion batteries. ATL is known worldwide for high-tech, high-volume prowess in developing, producing and packaging high quality rechargeable lithium-ion battery cells and packs. ATL primarily supplies batteries to cell phones, computers, and other consumer electronics.
BASF Venture Capital (BVC) was founded in 2001 and has offices in Europe, the U.S., China, India, Brazil and Israel. The aim of BVC is to generate new growth potential for BASF by investing in new companies and funds. The focus of investment is on chemical products and new materials, software and services as well as innovative and digital business models in the broader field of chemistry.
Cabot Corporation (NYSE: CBT) is a leading global specialty chemicals and performance materials company headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Cabot Corporation has delivered innovative performance solutions to customers for over 135 years and is a leading provider of rubber and specialty carbons, fumed metal oxides, masterbatches and conductive compounds, activated carbon, inkjet colorants and inks, and aerogel.
OVP Venture Partners is one the Pacific Northwest’s original venture capital firms. OVP’s investing partner and board member in Group14 is Gerry Langeler.
Showa Denko (SDK), a leading Japanese materials company headquartered in Tokyo, produces graphite anode material, vapor grown carbon fiber, aluminum-laminate packaging material, anode binder, and other specialty materials for Li-ion batteries.
About Group14 Technologies
Group14 integrates the world’s leading synthetic carbon technology with novel approaches to silicon structure and manufacturing to address the challenges of energy density and cycle life in Li-ion batteries. The engineered carbons at the heart of Group14’s technology already outperform all other carbons available in Li-ion batteries. Group14’s expertise in nanomaterials and manufacturing has enabled the development of novel approaches to producing and incorporating silicon into carbon to produce a new class of silicon-carbon composites for battery applications. The objective at Group14 is to develop products that replace graphite in all batteries reflecting not just high performance, but also value derived from novel manufacturing approaches.