US next-generation battery start-up Cuberg has won a funding boost from a second seed investment round led by the investment arm of aerospace firm Boeing.
Boeing HorizonX said its undisclosed investment would help expand the team and R&D facilities for Cuberg’s battery— which “combines a lithium metal anode, proprietary electrolyte and high-voltage cathode to achieve high energy density and thermal durability”.
Cuberg CEO and co-founder Richard Wang (pictured) exclusively told BBB “we anticipate the cells being ready for customer evaluation in summer 2018”.
Cuberg’s advanced battery cell is designed to be a drop-in solution to existing large-scale battery manufacturing processes that could “accelerate the electrification of transportation” and have “potential aerospace and industrial applications”.
Wang, who is also a member of the Cyclotron Road entrepreneurial research fellowship programme at the US Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, said the battery is already “being actively tested in a variety of commercial-format prototypes”. He said the company had a “dedicated materials supplier”, but declined to give the supplier’s name or location.
However, Wang did reveal Cuberg anticipates “reaching early commercial production, with small production runs, by early 2019”. The company does “not anticipate needing further funding to get there”, he added.
Cuberg said the funding boost would “help customers integrate our batteries into their products, while also scaling up our technology to fully automated production”.
Boeing HorizonX vice-president Steve Nordlund said: “Cuberg’s battery technology has some of the highest energy density we’ve seen in the marketplace, and its unique chemistries could prove to be a safe, stable solution for future electric air transportation.”
This is the first investment by Boeing HorizonX in an energy storage company since the fund was established in April 2017. Boeing said the fund is on the lookout for “non-traditional partnerships” for its aerospace technology”.
Cuberg, founded in April 2015, has grown with several rounds of financing and grant funding. The company signed a multimillion-dollar joint development agreement with an industrial battery manufacturer owned by Canadian oil and gas company HPC Energy Services— the first company to invest in Cuberg. HPC also provided a “follow-on investment” through the latest funding round.
Photo: ©2010 The Regents of the University of California, through the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory