UNIGRID Battery Announces $12 Million Series A Round

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UNIGRID Battery, a San Diego-based startup specializing in advanced sodium-ion batteries, announced the successful completion of a $12 million Series A funding round. The round was oversubscribed and co-led by Transition VC and Ritz Venture Capital, with participation from new investor Union Square Ventures and existing investor Foothill Ventures.

Funding Details:

  • Amount Raised: $12 million
  • Lead Investors: Transition VC and Ritz Venture Capital
  • New Investor: Union Square Ventures
  • Existing Investor: Foothill Ventures

Objectives:

The funding will be utilized to accelerate and scale-up UNIGRID’s battery production to meet megawatt-hour scale customer orders in the electric mobility and stationary storage markets.

Company Overview:

  • CEO: Darren H. S. Tan
  • Founders: Dr. Darren H. S. Tan and Dr. Erik A. Wu
  • Founded: 2021
  • Origin: University of California, San Diego spin-off

Technological Innovations:

UNIGRID is a leader in sodium-ion battery technology, focusing on:

  1. High Energy Density: Utilizing proprietary alloy anode technology to double the volumetric energy density of sodium-ion batteries, surpassing the energy density of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries.
  2. Use of Abundant Materials: Eliminating the use of critical or rare materials like lithium, cobalt, nickel, and copper.
  3. Safety and Performance: Achieving safety and performance metrics that exceed those of LFP batteries.

Key Strengths:

  • Compatibility: UNIGRID’s technology is drop-in compatible with conventional lithium-ion battery manufacturing infrastructure.
  • Material Availability: Uses off-the-shelf materials from the existing supply chain, facilitating immediate scale-up with manufacturing partners.

Market Impact:

  • Residential, Commercial, and Industrial Markets: Enabling widespread, distributed energy storage.
  • Electric Mobility: Addressing core challenges of safety, wide temperature operation, and cost in electric vehicles.

Industry Perspectives:

  • Mona Alsubaei, Partner at Transition VC: Emphasized the importance of safe, affordable energy storage made from abundant resources and praised UNIGRID’s commercial execution.
  • Sangbin Ong, Managing Director at Ritz Venture Capital: Highlighted the unique opportunity presented by UNIGRID’s sodium-ion batteries in both stationary storage and electric mobility markets.

Company Background:

UNIGRID was founded based on groundbreaking Ph.D. research by Dr. Darren H. S. Tan and Dr. Erik A. Wu, under the guidance of prominent battery field figures Prof. Zheng Chen and Prof. Shirley Meng. The company focuses on developing advanced sodium-ion batteries for emerging energy storage and electric mobility applications.

Conclusion:

The successful Series A funding round positions UNIGRID Battery to significantly impact the energy storage and electric mobility markets with its innovative sodium-ion battery technology, addressing crucial industry challenges and leveraging existing manufacturing infrastructure for rapid scalability.

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