Seattle-area startup Group14 raises $17M to cost up battery-enhancing tech

Rick Luebbe, CEO and co-founder of Group14 Applied sciences. (Group14 Photograph)

Woodinville, Wash.-based Group14 Technologies has raised $17 million to increase growth and gross sales of its silicon-carbon composite materials that may change the graphite anodes in lithium-ion batteries, dramatically bettering their efficiency.

The brand new funding will permit the corporate to ramp up manufacturing at its pilot manufacturing facility and can assist with subsequent yr’s groundbreaking of a large-scale plant in Moses Lake in Japanese Washington.

Group14 will start deliveries to its first industrial clients in client electronics within the first quarter of subsequent yr. The corporate can be in talks with electrical car producers internationally, mentioned CEO and co-founder Rick Luebbe, although he wouldn’t present particular particulars.

Pleasure about batteries retains rising. Their costs continue dropping and the marketplace for EV batteries alone is predicted to develop by greater than $44 billion globally between 2020 and 2024, in keeping with the market analysis agency Technavio. This month the web buzzed with headlines about QuantumScape, an organization additionally working to enhance lithium-ion batteries that has backing from Invoice Gates and Volkswagen. VW hopes to make use of these batteries in its automobiles starting in 2025, according to reports.

Luebbe is keen to emphasise that he has an answer that’s able to go.

“This is not a tomorrow technology, this is a today technology. This is ready to produce and drop into batteries right now,” he mentioned. “We can deliver these performance and cost improvements immediately.”

The Sequence B funding spherical was led by SK Supplies, a producer of particular and industrial gases, and included participation from OVP Enterprise Companions. Whole funding is north of $34 million. The U.S. Division of Vitality has awarded the corporate an extra $7.5 million, together with a prize given in September as a winner of the division’s EV-focused Energy Storage Grand Challenge.

Group14 launched in 2015. It spun out of EnerG2, a University of Washington spinoff that Luebbe additionally co-founded and was acquired by German chemical firm BASF in 2016. Luebbe was beforehand a U.S. Military aviation officer and CEO at Hubspan.

The startup says its expertise can enhance power density by 50% in comparison with a battery with a traditional graphite anode. It’s appropriate for lithium batteries of their many makes use of, together with electronics, EVs, aviation, medical units and storage for electrical grids. Luebbe mentioned the preliminary focus has been client objects as a result of that’s the sector with the quickest adoption.

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