Battery producer Sila Nanotechnologies, previously backed by a number of corporates, raised its latest multimillion dollar round, tripling its valuation.
US-based battery materials producer Sila Nanotechnologies – which counts corporates carmaker Daimler, industrial conglomerate Siemens, electronics manufacturer Samsung and battery producer Amperex – raised $590m in a series F round, at a valuation of $3.3bn post-money, tripling the one from its previous round. Investment manager Coatue and and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price co-led the round, which was filled also by 8VC, Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP), Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Sutter Hill Ventures.
Launched in 2011, Sila Nano has developed a silicon-based anode. The company claims the anode to be 20% more efficient than conventional lithium-ion chemistry currently used in most batteries for powering electric cars and portable electronic devices. The fresh funding capital will be used to build a second manufacturing plant as well as to recruit 100 additional staff members.
Sila is part of the broader battery and energy storage technology space, which has been given much attention from corporate venture investors, as the GCV Analytics bar chart below shows. The number of corporate-backed deals in this space has risen from 10 rounds registered in 2014 to 39 rounds during 2020. Similarly, the total estimated capital in rounds of such emerging enterprises has also increased from an estimated $177m to $1.45bn last year, suggesting a multifold surge in valuations.
The latter can be clearly attributed to the enabling potential of battery technologies, which could unleash the massification of other highly disruptive technologies such as renewable energy sources and electric vehicles.
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