Los Angeles-based Nanotech Energy Inc. has announced the official close of its Series C Preferred Round of funding. This round of participation/funding was expected to close at $25 million, yet included a “shoe” to allow for an additional $2.5 million for a total of $27.5 million invested. The funding was expanded to accommodate the oversubscription, following board of directors’ approval. The post-money valuation of this round was $227.5 million.
“This round of funding – with such high-level and committed investors – validates the need the international market has for our proprietary battery technology,” said Dr. Jack Kavanaugh, chairman and CEO of Nanotech Energy “We are confident that we have a one-of-a-kind, industry-changing product that will impact the technologies and bottom lines of multiple end-user markets. This round of funding allows us to dramatically expand our production of graphene batteries, as well as our production of conductive epoxies, conductive inks and electromagnetic interference shielding spray paints and films. This will also facilitate our efforts to further increase our large-scale manufacturing of high-quality graphene that we provide for use in downstream applications.”
“Lithium-ion batteries have transformed the way society uses energy, yet there are a number of documented safety issues,” said Dr. Maher El-Kady, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Nanotech Energy. “We perfected the battery by utilizing the extraordinary electronic and mechanical properties of graphene to increase the battery capacity. To further increase the safety of a lithium-ion battery, we took a step further by designing a non-flammable electrolyte that can withstand operation at high temperatures without catching fire.”
The funding news dovetails with the Company’s creation and production of non-flammable, lithium batteries with the highest performance levels of other batteries. The Nanotech Energy Graphene Super Battery safely delivers efficient, fast charging and long-lasting battery power.
“Graphene is one of the strongest known materials, is completely flexible, and an excellent conductor of electricity – thus preventing the battery from overheating,” stated Dr. Richard Kaner, UCLA Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and of Materials Science and Engineering. “More importantly, graphene can withstand the volume changes of the battery electrodes during charge and discharge, reducing the chances of an internal short circuit; leading to a safer and more powerful battery.”
“Most industries and end users are confined to the technology of lithium-ion batteries, from smartphone and laptop manufacturers to automotive manufacturers to the consumer at large. They are limited to a battery technology that is well-known and documented to be dangerous – highly combustible and flammable,” continued Kavanaugh. “You have advanced and successful industries relying on a dangerous yet vital technology for decades. Nanotech Energy now offers all of these industries a path toward a safe and more powerful battery technology – a game changer for them.”
The Daimler Mercedes Challenge
In preparation for its graphene battery launch, Nanotech Energy has been working on the development of a high-performance, non-flammable battery for Daimler Mercedes hybrid and electric automobiles.
“Three years ago, we challenged Nanotech Energy to provide us with the safest non-flammable battery chemistry,” stated Andreas Hintennach, Ph.D., global head of battery research for Daimler AG. “Nanotech Energy exceeded our challenge. Usually you sacrifice performance once you develop extremely safe chemistry. Now, for the first time, we have access to extremely safe chemistry that provides high performance and we are very pleased.”
The Dangers of Lithium-Ion Batteries
Currently, most batteries that industries commonly use are produced with lithium-ion, which is universally recognized as a dangerous and hazardous material. In devices and products with built-in lithium batteries, such as cellular phones, laptops and electric automobiles, pressure from parts surrounding the lithium batteries can cause damage to the wires around the batteries and lead to short circuiting. When lithium-ion batteries get shorted, the energy from the battery gets released suddenly, causing the temperature to rise hundreds of degrees within milliseconds – resulting in the battery catching fire.
The concern regarding the dangers of lithium batteries is so great that the FAA has banned them as cargo on passenger planes. Carriers from the U.S. Postal Service to Federal Express do not want to put their employees in danger with the transport of such batteries. Other technologies being explored, such as zinc batteries, produce less reliable and less efficient batteries.
Electric cars pose a similar threat, with some manufacturers facing class-action lawsuits due to explosions from their batteries. There are thousands of lithium batteries making up the electric vehicle’s battery pack. If all of these batteries ignite at the same time – something that has happened – the explosion is massive.
The Nanotech Energy Graphene Super Battery is manufactured in the United States with a shelf cost roughly the same as the leading lithium-ion versions; yet Nanotech batteries are ultimately less expensive, as they last much longer. Within the next year, the Company is planning to release an environmentally friendly battery that can charge 18 times faster than anything that is currently available on the market.
About Nanotech Energy Inc.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, Nanotech Energy Inc. was founded in 2014 by Jack Kavanaugh, who serves as the chairman and CEO, along with leading UCLA scientists Dr. Richard Kaner and Dr. Maher El-Kady. With its mission to bring graphene-based energy storage from the research laboratory to the marketplace, Nanotech Energy offers graphene products that have the potential to revolutionize our lives with applications in batteries, transparent conducting electrodes, conductive inks, printed electronics, conductive epoxy, antistatic coatings and EMI (electromagnetic interference) shielding.