Sicona Battery Technologies, a company that develops advanced battery materials for lithium-ion batteries, secured A$22 million (~$15 million) in Series A funding to expand its operations in Australia and the US. The funding round was led by India’s Himadri Speciality Chemical, Artesian, and Electrification & Decarbonization AIE, a fund managed by Waratah Capital. Riverstone Ventures, Chaos Ventures, Investible Climate Tech Fund LP and Club Investible also participated in the funding round.

Sicona’s core technology is a silicon-composite anode material that can increase the energy density and cycle life of lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles, grid storage, and consumer electronics.

The company claims its anode material can deliver 50-100% higher capacity than conventional graphite anodes and more than 50% higher cell energy density than current Li-ion batteries.

“By using silicon metal (and not expensive, supply chain constrained and dangerous silane gas like our competitors), Sicona can offer low-cost silicon anode materials at large automotive scale locally in major markets,” Sicona CEO and cofounder Christiaan Jordaan said, “Our silicon metal-based technology decouples us from the major bottlenecks and cost implications of silane gas-based technologies and provides our customers the confidence that we can deliver a silicon-carbon anode material at a capital intensity and $/kg price which is feasible for mass-automotive market adoption.”

The Series A funding will enable Sicona to accelerate its engineering studies, site selection, and customer qualification for its US plant, which will have an initial capacity of 5ktpa (~50 GWh) and a potential expansion to 20ktpa (~200 GWh).

The project will be located in the southeastern US, where several major battery manufacturers and electric vehicle makers have established or announced their presence. The project will also comply with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a US legislation that incentivizes domestic production of critical minerals and materials for clean energy applications.

According to Mercom’s Q1 2023 Funding and M&A Report for Storage and Smart Grid, VC funding raised by Energy Storage companies in Q1 2023 came to $1.1 billion in 19 deals, an 8% decrease year-over-year (YoY) compared to $1.2 billion in 22 deals in Q1 2022.

Recently, Forge Nano, a provider of nanocoating technology for lithium-ion batteries, closed on $50 million in funding led by key investments from Hanwha Corporate Venture Capital with participation from OIC, Catalus Capital, Ascent Funds, and existing investors. This funding brings the company’s total amount of capital raised to date to more than $95 million.