Volta Energy Technologies Closes Energy Storage Fund With Over $200MM
Energy storage VC complements corporate pledge fund with opportunity for private investors to capitalize on the hot battery and energy storage market
CHICAGO (June 21, 2021) – Volta Energy Technologies today announced the final closing on its venture fund focused on batteries, energy storage, and related hardware and software required to enable the use of lower-cost electric vehicles and renewable power generation.
Closing with a total of $205.3M of committed capital, Volta’s new venture fund had initially closed with $72.6M in December 2020. This new fund operates alongside the firm’s existing pledge fund, launched in 2017 with the backing of corporate strategic investors Albemarle, Exelon, Equinor and Hanon Systems.
Spun out of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, Volta’s core team includes technologists that have led product development research and financial investors with experience in multiple sectors. Directed by industry veterans, Volta’s strategic focus is on sourcing and managing investments in technology at its inflection point — where the science and technology risk is low, and the potential for production and revenue growth is just starting to expand.
“The Volta team has been identifying strategic investments in groundbreaking energy storage technology for our strategic corporate investors for over a decade,” said Volta founder and CEO Dr. Jeff Chamberlain. “We are now excited to meet the demand of private investors seeking to benefit from our strategic, expert-led approach.”
The close of Volta’s private capital fund comes on the heels of its blockbuster investment in Solid Power, an industry-leading producer of all solid-state batteries for electric vehicles.
In May, the all solid-state battery company announced a $130 million Series B investment round led by the BMW Group, Ford Motor Company and Volta. The joint investment positions Solid Power to produce full-scale, solid-state batteries that can be used in forthcoming electric vehicles from both the BMW Group, Ford, and others. On June 15, 2021, Solid Power announced they had entered into a definitive agreement for a business combination with Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation III that would result in Solid Power becoming a publicly listed company.
In addition to Solid Power, Volta’s private capital fund has already deployed capital into several other companies. Examples include:
- Smart Wires – A company that has developed SmartValve—intelligent hardware that acts as a router for electricity to travel across underutilized power lines to optimize the integration of renewable power and energy storage on the grid. Smart Wires is currently executing a large contract with National Grid in the United Kingdom, and their technology has been qualified in over 90 utilities across the globe.
- Ionic Materials – A materials company that enables non-flammable, high energy, lower cost solid lithium batteries for both transportation and grid applications. Ionic Materials’ platform technology also enables breakthrough advancements in other growing markets, such as 5G mobile, and rechargeable alkaline batteries. The company is also backed by Renault-Nissan, Hyundai, Hitachi, Kleiner Perkins, Franklin Templeton, and others.
- 6K – A company accelerating the industrial transformation of advanced material production with sustainable manufacturing through its UniMelt®system, the world’s first industrial microwave plasma platform. 6K’s mission is to deliver high-performance advanced materials that are radically greener than legacy production technologies. Currently tackling materials for energy storage and additive manufacturing, the UniMelt platform offers multifaceted sustainability benefits and answers critical environmental challenges such as CO2, hazardous waste, greenhouse gases, energy consumption, and wastewater.
- Niron Magnetics – A company developing the world’s first advanced manufacturing process for the mass production of permanent magnets powered by its breakthrough material formulation. Niron’s proprietary Iron nitride magnets possess inherently higher magnetization and can be produced at a lower cost compared to today’s rare-earth magnets and will enable a revolution in the design of new electric motors and generators.=
“Our team of battery experts is excited to announce an open call for entrepreneurs with promising battery, energy storage, and related technologies,” said Chamberlain. “As the market expands, we are seeking out technologies and businesses that will enable the ubiquitous adoption of both renewable power generation and electric vehicles — not just in chemistry and materials, but also in the hardware, software, and innovative business models that will be integral to energy storage systems.”
Volta expects significant impacts from a pipeline of investible deals aimed at lowering costs, improving safety, and increasing longevity of batteries for electric vehicles, and energy storage for the grid, including investments in battery recycling technology, solid state batteries, wireless fast-charging of EVs, and advanced manufacturing processes.
Entrepreneurs and investors with promising energy storage technologies are encouraged to contact Volta at www.volta.vc/contact.
Volta Energy Technologies identifies and invests in battery and energy storage technology after performing deep diligence with the support of unparalleled global research institutions. Seeded by strategic corporate investors, Volta connects innovators with investors and relevant industries that are adopting energy storage technology, delivering strategic returns for all. To learn more, visit volta.vc and follow @VoltaLink on Twitter