Zürich, Switzerland: Cleantech venture capital pioneer Emerald has announced that it has joined an investment into NanoGraf, a maker of electric battery materials. The $65 million infusion, led by Volta and joined by Emerald and Emerald’s CVC as a service client Nabtesco Technology Ventures, will help NanoGraf advance toward mass production of its high-performance anode materials, which have the potential to increase energy density across the battery landscape.
Lithium-ion batteries rank among the most important pillars of the clean-energy transition. Their use in zero-emissions vehicles and power storage systems make them a keystone of electrification. As the global economy races to meet urgent net-zero goals, deploying batteries to store energy on a significant scale will be critical.
Chicago-based NanoGraf manufactures a silicon-based alloy anode, enabling higher battery capacity while minimizing material swelling challenges which limit competing silicon technologies. This could lead to expanded vehicle range, longer device run-time, and ultimately lower cost for the batteries that will constitute a fast-growing market. Industry watchers predict that sales of lithium-ion batteries will grow by 13% annually from 2022 to 2031, at which point the global market will be worth $135 billion.
NanoGraf’s proprietary production process allows low-cost, scalable manufacturing, and its anode product can seamlessly “drop in” to existing battery designs, without the need for extensive re-tooling. With the recently-passed Inflation Reduction Act promising hefty subsidies for US-manufactured clean technologies, NanoGraf is well-positioned to capitalize on both a ballooning domestic ecosystem and surging international demand.
A strong track record
Emerald’s track record in batteries and EV charging hardware technology includes Spear Power Systems (acquired by Sensata Technologies) and Rhombus Energy Solutions (acquired by Borgwarner).