Project funding brief

Ascend Elements, a provider of closed-loop battery materials solutions, raised $300 million in equity and debt financing. The funding round includes $200 million in Series C equity investments led by Fifth Wall Climate and joined by SK ecoplant. Other new investors include Oman Investment Authority, Lithium Americas Corporation, GLy Capital Management’s New Mobility Fund, Mirae Asset Capital & LS, and Shinhan GIB. Many investors from previous funding rounds also participated in the latest round, including Hitachi Ventures, Jaguar Land Rover’s InMotion Ventures, TDK Ventures, Orbia Ventures, At One Ventures, TRUMPF Venture, and Doral Energy-Tech Ventures.

The company plans to use this funding to accelerate the commercialization of its Hydro-to-Cathode direct precursor synthesis process, which establishes a closed-loop EV battery materials supply chain in North America. Besides, the company is focused on creating a sustainable lithium-ion battery materials facility in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, with an estimated investment of up to $1 billion. The company anticipates equipping up to 250,000 electric vehicles with lithium-ion batteries made at its “Apex 1” manufacturing facility.

“Our investment partners understand the urgent need to produce sustainable lithium-ion battery materials. It’s not enough to simply recycle lithium-ion batteries and recover metals for the global commodity markets. Our patented, closed-loop process goes beyond simple battery recycling. Instead, we produce sustainable, high-performance cathode active materials that can go directly back into new EV batteries”, commented Ascend Elements CEO Mike O’Kronley.

SK ecoplant CEO Park Kyung-il said, “This investment continues our strategic partnership with Ascend Elements and lays the foundation for SK ecoplant as the 1st shareholder to dominate the global battery recycling industry”.

According to Mercom’s 9M And Q3 2022 Funding and M&A Report for Storage, Grid & Efficiency. VC funding in Energy Storage in 9M 2022 fell by over 44%, with $4 billion in 73 deals compared to $7.2 billion in 60 deals in 9M 2021.