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Startup Battery Materials Sicona Charges $22 Million Series A

Battery materials startup Sicona Battery Technologies has raised AU$22 million in a Series A for its plans in Australia and the US.

The round was led by India’s Himadri Specialty Chemical Ltd, Australia’s VC Artesian and Electrification & Decarbonization AIE LP, a fund managed by Waratah Capital, along with Riverstone Ventures, Chaos Ventures, Investible Climate Tech Fund LP and Club Investible, among others, through its Climate Tech fund.

Entrepreneur Christiaan Jordaan and materials scientist Andrew Minett founded Sicona in 2019, with the aim of developing next-generation battery technology used in
the anodes (negative electrodes) of lithium-ion batteries used for electric vehicles and renewable energy storage.

They have been commercializing silicon-graphite composite technology and materials researchers at the Australian Institute for Innovative Materials at the University of Wollongong for over a decade. The startup previously raised $3.7 million in a pre-Series A in August 2021, led by Riverstone and Artesian.

Sicona’s current generation silicon composite anode technology offers 50-100% higher capacity than conventional graphite anodes.

“Sicona’s core product is an innovative silicon metal-based silicon-composite battery anode technology that enables more than 50% higher energy density of existing Li-ion batteries,” said Jordaan, CEO of Sicona.

“Using silicon metal (and inexpensive, supply chain constrained and hazardous silane gas like our competitors) allows Sicona to provide low-cost automotive silicon anode materials locally at scale in key markets.”

The Wollongong-based startup now wants to build a silicon carbon manufacturing plant in the southeastern United States to serve that market.

Jordaan said the new capital will provide significant growth capacity in the US over the next year.

“Welcoming one of the leading global specialty chemical companies as a strategic investor in our Series A round enables us to accelerate our mission to become a major producer of cost-effective silicon composite anode materials,” he said.

“Our silicon metal-based technology decouples us from the major bottlenecks and cost implications of silane gas-based technologies and gives our customers confidence that we can provide a silicon-carbon anode material at a capital intensity and $/kg price achievable for mass automotive market adoption .”

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