Mitra Future Technologies (Mitra Chem), a lithium-ion battery materials manufacturer, raised $20 million in a Series A funding round. Social Capital led the round with the other participants include Taiwanese industrialist Richard Tsai, Fontinalis Partners, Integrated Energy Materials, and Earthshot Ventures.

The company plans to use the fresh funds to invest in product R&D and expand North American pre-pilot production capacity.

The company is building the first North American lithium-ion battery materials product that shortens the lab-to-production timeline by over 90%. The first core product category is iron-based cathodes for non-Chinese battery applications. Iron-based cathodes shift away from using elements such as nickel and cobalt, which are facing imminent supply crunches and overconcentration of investment in China.

“The impending threat of climate change requires a significant global ramp-up of electrification across a wide range of carbon-based sectors. The lack of North American-based production and distribution of key battery materials represents a significant gap in our ability to lead climate innovation. Mitra Chem can upend the balance of power within the complicated global battery supply chain, supporting the explosion in electrification and disrupting the marketplace for these vital materials. We deeply appreciate the support from Chamath, Social Capital, and our partners participating in the round, and look forward to continuing to drive innovation in a sector that is on the front lines of the fight against climate change,” said Mitra Chem CEO and Co-Founder Vivas Kumar.

According to Mercom’s 9M and Q3 2021 Funding and M&A Report for Storage, Grid, and Efficiency, lithium-based battery companies were the top-funded category with $4 billion in 9M 2021. VC funding activity in battery storage companies in 9M 2021 was up significantly (363%) with $5.5 billion in 59 deals compared to $1.2 billion in 21 deals in 9M 2020. This is the highest ever amount of funding received by Battery Storage companies in a 9M period.