Battery material startup Addionics has raised $27m in its first major round of funding.
“It’s a very exciting time,” Dr Moshiel Biton, CEO of Addionics (above, far left) told eeNews Europe. “This Series A round is a big step for us and will help commercialise the technology with the team in Israel and the UK and expand to Germany and the US.”
Addionics has developed techniques and AI-based software to create higher capacity electrodes in copper and aluminium using 3D structures that can be dropped into existing battery production lines – whether lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt-oxide (NMC), lithium iron phosphate (LFP), silicon, lithium polymer battery chemistries or solid state batteries (SSB) – to boost performance.
The company’s core IP, developed in Israel and the UK, is its patented and scalable electrode fabrication process that significantly lowers manufacturing costs, enabling mass market adoption of 3D electrode structures for the first time.
The funding round was led by Deep Insight together with Catalyst Fund, Delek Motors and Dr. Boaz Schwartz. Additional investments include strategic and financial support from Novelis, Magna International, JX Nippon Mining & Metals, Union Tech Ventures, 8090 Partners, GiTV, Talcar Corporation, Bridges Israel impact investment fund, Doral Energy Tech Ventures (Doral Energy CVC), and Dr. David Deak. Existing investors that participated in the round include NextGear Ventures and Vasuki Global Tech Fund.
Investment from copper and aluminium supplier is key, he says. “All of that is in order to be in the market as fast as possible, to be in the market in a year’s time,” he said. The plan is to build a pilot line first.
The round also brings David Deak, the former senior engineering manager at Tesla and CTO at Lithium Americas onto the Addionics board of directors. Former executive director at NIO Capital, Yair Shacked, has also recently joined Addionics’ advisory board.
“We don’t need to produce at commercial scale and then ramp up to support mass volume and demonstrate the integration of our product into client pilot lines and we are in discussion for that and hopefully start preparation for that very soon for automotive OEMs and battery OEMs,” he said.
“Our goal is always to produce the first products in house and after evaluating and releasing the product we are going to manufacture in different locations to be closer to the supply chain and reduce all the logistics and difficulties in shipping and what we have started to do is bring partners in for all over the world with investors for aluminium and for copper who can help us later on in mass production and partner with a JV or other relationship to produce at scale.
Next: Solid state battery plans
Pouch cells is the main focus with plans to diversify to other formats but that’s not in the roadmap for the next two years, he says. The company uses a proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to accelerates battery development time, optimizing electrode designs to meet any battery application and performance requirement.
“We have very detailed goals for 2023,” he said. “This is not only the hardware roadmap but to get the AI software we use more mature and better understand how we can use it for the outside world. We don’t want to make any changes in the production lines [of battery makers] and right now we want to use the massive investment in existing capital both for the 3d copper for the anode and 3D aluminium for the cathode,” he said.
“Solid state is the holy grail as there are lots of advantages but some technical issues remain. We believe in that technology for the long term and we have a project in the US to develop a solid electrolyte,” he said. “ The key is that our structures match the capacity of the lithium metal anode to a conventional cathode. Without our technology there is no cathode that can match the capacity of the high energy anode material, so you are trapped. What we can do is increase the electrode and load more active material on the cathode to match the capacity,” he said
“With the backing of our esteemed investors and strategic partners, Addionics is forging a clear path to market disruption and is well-positioned to deliver higher performing, lower cost batteries at scale,” said Biton. “We look forward to accelerating our product development and laying the necessary groundwork for commercialization as we remain committed to our mission of revolutionizing the battery industry by building the best battery cell architecture in the market.”
“Addionics’s battery electrode technology promises to expedite the commercial viability of new and future chemistry configurations such as solid-state and silicon, while also optimizing batteries that are already widely adopted, including LFP, NMC, and other Li-ion based technologies,” said Dr. Eyal Kishon, Chairman at Deep Insight. “As the world races towards electrification to mitigate the impacts of climate change, we must support solutions that address both near-term and long-term challenges. Addionics tackles both under the leadership of world-class battery experts – which is why we’re so confident in this investment.”
“At Catalyst Fund, we align closely with Addionics’ mission of revolutionizing the energy storage industry and supporting a net zero future,” said Yair Shamir, Managing Partner at Catalyst-Fund. “With its unique physics-based approach to battery technology, Addionics stands above the competition in terms of mass market potential. The company is not only an exciting climate tech investment opportunity, but we foresee it as a key enabler of the electric transition.”
The Series A investment follows an initial $9m seed round led by Next Gear Ventures, which included a $2.5m grant as part of the European Union’s Horizon2020 programme.
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