Daimler backs Sila Nano’s $395m for silicon anode batteries

Daimler backs Sila Nano’s $395m for silicon anode batteries

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The Series E round was led by Daimler AG to bring the first Sila Nano-powered batteries to market with silicon anodes rather than graphite, accelerating global rollout of lower cost batteries for electric vehicles and giving the company a valuation over $1bn as a battery ‘unicorn’. Jeff Immelt, former CEO of General Electric, will join Sila Nano’s Board as an independent director, bringing global expertise in materials and manufacturing.

The key to the Sila materials is that they can be dropped into the existing commercial battery manufacturing process to give a performance boost of 20 per cent, riasing to 40 per cent with optimisation. This means that the battery manufacturing partners can produce higher performing cells in existing factories on existing production equipment. This also means that car makers and consumer products companies can continue working with their existing battery suppliers while seamlessly incorporating Sila’s materials technology into new products. Nexeon in the UK is also working on silicon anode technology with signficant financial backing havin raised $120m.

Alongside Daimler, new investor 8VC joined Bessemer Venture Partners, Chengwei Capital, Matrix Partners, Siemens Next47, and Sutter Hill Ventures. With its investment, Alex Nediger, Daimler’s Director of Cooperation and Innovation Management, will also join the Sila Nano board.

“We’ve cracked the code on silicon thanks to eight years and 35,000 iterations developing our materials to improve battery storage capacity,” said Gene Berdichevsky, co-founder and CEO, Sila Nano. “Now we’re ready to bring this to market, and partners like Daimler and Jeff Immelt bring critical expertise and support as we enter this next phase and begin putting Sila inside the vehicles and devices people use every day.”

Next: Immelt

“Advancements in lithium-ion batteries have become increasingly limited, and we are fighting for incremental improvements,” said Jeff Immelt. “I’ve seen first-hand that this is a huge opportunity that is also incredibly hard to solve. The team at Sila Nano has not only created a breakthrough chemistry, but solved it in a way that is commercially viable at scale.”

With the latest round of financing secured, Sila Nano has begun ramping up production volume and plans to supply its first commercial customers in consumer electronics within the next year. Sila Nano will continue to scale up production in the next few years with plans to go to market with automaker partners BMW and Daimler.

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