Sicona Secures AU$3.7 M to Expand Battery Supplies Tech

Highlights :

  • This latest capital injection follows the company’s $1 million seed round in July 2020, the award of a $704k ‘Accelerating Commercialisation’ Grant by the Australian Federal Government in November 2020, and Sicona’s participation in the prestigious Startmate accelerator in its Summer 2021 climate technology cohort.
  • The funding round was led by global venture firm Artesian and US-based Riverstone Ventures, an affiliate of Riverstone Holdings.

Australian firm Sicona Battery Technologies Pty Ltd has raised AU$3.7 million in a pre-Series A funding round from leading investors to scale battery materials technology globally.

This latest capital injection follows the company’s $1 million seed round in July 2020, the award of a $704k ‘Accelerating Commercialisation’ Grant by the Australian Federal Government in November 2020, and Sicona’s participation in the prestigious Startmate accelerator in its Summer 2021 climate technology cohort.

The funding round was led by global venture firm Artesian and US-based Riverstone Ventures, an affiliate of Riverstone Holdings, with notable participation by Chaos Ventures (New York), Bandera Capital (Australia), SDGx Ventures (Singapore), and several prominent Australian climate-tech investors and global battery materials specialists.

Sicona, founded in June 2019 by Christiaan Jordaan and Andrew Minett, is developing next-generation battery technology used in the anodes (negative electrodes) of lithium-ion batteries that enables electric mobility.

Sicona is commercialising innovative silicon-graphite composite battery anode and binder process technology and materials, developed and perfected over the last ten years at the Australian Institute for Innovative Materials (AIIM) at the University of Wollongong.

Sicona’s current generation silicon-graphite composite anode materials deliver 50% to 100% higher capacity than conventional “graphite-only” materials and as a result, its cell producer customers can unlock more than 50% higher cell energy density than current Li-ion batteries thereby increasing electric vehicle range whilst reducing the cost and the time it takes to charge.

According to a recent report prepared by Accenture for the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC), of which Sicona is an associate participant, diversified battery industries could contribute $7.4 billion annually to Australia’s economy and support 34,700 jobs by 2030.

One of the six opportunities identified in the report for Australia to expand its presence across the battery value chain is the establishment of “active materials manufacturing capability to serve the global value chain”. Sicona states that it can fulfil this role well as it has plans to establish domestic commercial-scale advanced manufacturing of its next-generation active anode materials.

The global lithium battery opportunity is growing rapidly with more than 4TWh (equivalent to 4,000 gigawatt sized factories) of announced cell production requiring in excess of four million tonnes of anode materials per annum.

From its Australian base, Sicona also has its eyes set on deploying commercial-scale production plants in Europe and North America.

Sicona founder and CEO Christiaan Jordaan said: “We are extremely grateful for the support from our growing international investor base. Our next milestone is the commissioning of Sicona’s pilot production plant at our site in Wollongong and leveraging its larger-scale production capacity to qualify our materials with global battery producers and conduct larger-scale battery testing programs.”

Kevin Wang, Vice President at Riverstone Holdings, said: “We are excited to support Sicona with this funding round as it is looking to scale its ground-breaking battery materials technology and leverage its successes into the fast-growing markets developing for lithium-ion batteries in Europe and the United States.”

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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