Sodium-ion Battery Startup UNIGRID Secures $12 Million

UNIGRID, a provider of sodium-based battery solutions, raised $12 million in an oversubscribed Series A funding round. The round was Co-led by Transition VC and Ritz Venture Capital and joined by new investor Union Square Ventures. Existing investor Foothill Ventures also participated in this round.

The company stated that this investment would accelerate and scale up its battery production to megawatt scale to satisfy the customer demand for electric mobility and stationary storage markets.

“Advanced sodium-ion batteries will be a key enabler of widespread, distributed energy storage in the residential, commercial, and industrial markets. As a technology leader in this space, UNIGRID already has commercial-scale orders and will use the funds to expand manufacturing and customer fulfillment capabilities,” said Darren H. S. Tan, CEO of UNIGRID Battery.

Critical materials such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel are not geologically abundant, and their extraction involves many processes that create environmental and social issues. Instead, the company plans to use abundantly available materials like sodium in its batteries, which are more environmentally sustainable.

Sodium-ion batteries typically face a critical bottleneck: lower energy density compared to conventional Lithium-ion batteries. To address this, UNIGRID is developing high energy-density sodium-ion batteries using its proprietary alloy anode technology. The company claims that this new battery chemistry doubles the volumetric energy density of standard sodium-ion batteries and surpasses the energy density of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries.

The company also highlights that its technology is drop-in compatibility with conventional Li-ion battery manufacturing infrastructure, along with off-the-shelf availability of materials in the existing supply chain.

According to Mercom’s Q1 2024 Funding and M&A Report for Storage & Smart Grid, VC funding for Energy Storage companies increased by 9% YoY, with $1.2 billion in 23 deals in Q1 2024 compared to $1.1 billion raised in 19 deals in Q1 2023.

Recently, Bedrock Materials, a startup that designs and develops sodium-ion cathode materials, secured $9 million in seed funding. The round was led by Trucks Venture Capital, Refactor Capital, and Version One Ventures. Beginning in 2025, Peak Energy will start deploying its sodium-ion systems while building a domestic, giga-scale battery factory with plans to open in 2026.