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Sila Nano raises $590M to fund 100GWh lithium-ion battery anode materials factory

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 12:46 -- Paul Crompton

Materials firm Sila Nanotechnologies has raised $590 million in Series F funding to support development of its North American lithium-ion battery materials gigafactory.

The US-based firm, founded by former Tesla battery systems architect Gene Berdichevsky, will use the cash to fund its 100GWh plant that will produce silicon-based anode material for lithium-ion batteries.

The round was led by investment management firm Coatue, with significant participation by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates. Existing investors 8VC, Bessemer Venture Partners, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and Sutter Hill Ventures also participated in the round.

The decade old firm is now valued at $3.3 billion, ahead of commercialising its technology.

The company aims to start production at the new plant in 2024, with its technology used in commercially available cars the following year.

Gene Berdichevsky, CEO at Sila Nano, said: “For any new technology to make an impact in the real-world, it has to scale, which will cost billions of dollars. We know, from our experience building our production lines in Alameda, that investing in our next plant today will keep us on track to be powering cars and hundreds of millions of consumer devices by 2025.”

Sila Nano’s material is designed as a drop-in replacement for graphite in existing lithium-ion factories, enabling battery makers to improve the energy density of their products without needing to change the battery manufacturing process or equipment.

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