Sicona Battery Technologies, an Australian battery materials startup, has received funding from international investors to improve its silicon composite anode technology for lithium-ion batteries, allowing it to accelerate its commercial development plans in the US market.
Investors led by Indian chemical conglomerate Himadri Specialty Chemical and Australian private equity firm Artesian have invested A$22 million ($14.9 million) in Sicona Battery Technologies to support the company’s work on technology to increase battery density.
The Series A funding round was led by Kolkata-based Himadri, Artesian and Electrification & Decarbonization AIE LP, a fund managed by Canada’s Waratah Capital Advisers. New York-headquartered Riverstone Ventures, Chaos Ventures, Investible Climate Tech Fund LP and Club Investible also participated in the funding round.
Sicona is seeking to commercialize its high-capacity silicon anode technology, which has been tagged as a potential game-changer for lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, which dominate the electric vehicle and renewable energy storage markets.
Sicona CEO Christiaan Jordaan said the company’s silicon composite anode technology offers 50-100% more capacity than traditional graphite anodes and its anode materials can produce significantly higher cell energy density than current lithium-ion batteries.
“Sicona’s core product is an innovative silicon metal-based silicon composite battery anode technology that enables more than a 50 percent increase in the energy density of existing Li-ion batteries,” he said. “By using silicon metal, rather than expensive, supply chain-constrained and hazardous silane gas like our competitors, Sicona can provide low-cost silicon anode materials to the large automotive industry locally in the largest markets.”
Jordaan said the recent round of funding enables Sicona, based in Wollongong, near Sydney, to set up a battery component manufacturing facility in the United States. The demand for anode materials in the country is predicted to exceed 1,200 GWh by 2030.
“Due to significant interest in our materials from North American automotive companies, we are focusing our efforts on building Sicona’s first commercial manufacturing facility in the United States,” Jordann said, noting that Himadr’s support “allows us to accelerate our mission to become a major producer of cost-effective silicon composite anode materials.”
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