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Sila Nano raises $45m for silicon anode production

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty


Sila Nanotechnologies has raised $45m for the production of its drop-in silicon anode that replaces graphite in a lithium-ion battery without requiring changes to the battery manufacturing process. This brings the company’s total funding to $340m from investors such as BMW and Daimler. This Round F funding came from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB).

The silicon anode technology shows a 20 percent improvement today, with the potential to reach 40 percent improvement over state of the art traditional lithium ion batteries.

The company has also added former SunPower Executive Vice President of Global Operations Bill Mulligan as its first Chief Operating Officer, and Panasonic and Tesla executive Kurt Kelty as Vice President of Automotive. The company has also secured an additional

“As we bring our product to market, executives like Bill and Kurt bring critical expertise in the automotive and energy manufacturing sectors and will further propel Sila Nano’s growth and momentum,” said Sila Nanotechnologies CEO Gene Berdichevsky. “We’re rounding out our leadership team as we accelerate our path to smarter, longer-lasting portable electronics and lower-cost, longer-range electric vehicles.”

“In my experience, the most successful and inspiring companies are solving the most technically challenging problems, just beyond the edge of what people believe is solvable,” said Mulligan. “I’m honored to join a team that is tackling the challenge of battery chemistry head-on, and I truly believe Sila Nano’s products will have far-reaching applications to enable lower cost, large-scale energy storage.”

Automotive battery cells are a key area for the company. Kelty joins Sila Nano after ten years as director of business development at Panasonic and senior director of battery technology at Tesla. At Tesla, Kelty developed and led strategic relationships with battery cell makers in launching each of the Tesla vehicles, from the Roadster through the Model 3. The strategic hires signal the company’s commitment to fleet electrification and continued investment in scaling up for automotive deployment.

“As part of Sila Nano’s advisory board, I’ve seen the results of the breakthrough battery chemistry firsthand and I could not pass up the opportunity to take it a step further and lead the company’s automotive partnership efforts,” said Kurt Kelty. “I’m excited to return to my battery tech roots with a company like Sila Nano, which has developed a commercially viable, scalable solution for lithium-ion batteries.”

Earlier this year, Sila Nano rasied $170m in Series E funding led by Daimler AG. With $45 million in additional equity financing secured from CPPIB, Sila Nano will continue to ramp 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 of the silicon anode material in the next few years with plans to go to market with battery partner Amperex Technology Limited (ATL) and automotive partners BMW and Daimler.

www.silanano.com

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