NanoGraf raises $65 Million to scale U.S. production of battery materials


NanoGraf, an advanced battery materials company, announced that it has raised $65 million in an oversubscribed Series B funding round. NanoGraf had previously raised a total of $27 million in funding from a mix of venture, angel and non-dilutive funding sources.

In December NanoGraf announced plans to launch production of advanced silicon anode materials in Q4 2023 in a 17,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Chicago. The company expects phase one material production capacity of 35 tons per year, which is enough for 24 million battery cells, with plans to ramp production to 1000 tons of material production per year by 2024.

NanoGraf’s Series B funding supports its silicon anode production in Chicago, as well as the continued development, production and supply of advanced lithium-ion technologies.

In 2021 pv magazine reported that NanoGraf said it had achieved previously unattainable levels of energy density in an 18650 cylindrical lithium-ion cell. In 2022, NanoGraf reported that it had set a new industry benchmark for the most energy-dense lithium-ion 18650 battery, with more than 20% higher energy density than the industry’s leading cells today.

The energy density achievement was enabled by developing a proprietary silicon-oxide anode material that can be introduced into the same battery form factor at densities beyond what has been achieved previously, according to Kurt “Chip” Breitenkamp, vice president of Business Development.

“NanoGraf’s breakthrough silicon technology further exemplifies our commitment to extending the energy and power performance characteristics of today’s lithium-ion batteries for a sustainable electrified future. I’m incredibly proud of the technologies and products our team has developed over the last 36 months,” said Dr. Francis Wang, CEO of NanoGraf. “This funding not only ensures a domestic supply of a key strategic component of next generation lithium-ion batteries but also enhances our national competitiveness in the global energy storage space.”

NanoGraf is a spinout of Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory. This funding round was co-led by Volta Energy Technologies and CC Industries with participation from GIC, Emerald Technology Ventures, Material Impact, Arosa Capital, Nabtesco Technology Ventures, and TechNexus. Existing investors including Hyde Park Angels, Evergreen Climate Innovations, and Goose Capital also participated in the round.

In November of 2022, the company was awarded a $10 million contract from the U.S. Government to develop its manufacturing facility in Chicago.

“Nanograf’s technology promises to enable higher energy density in lithium-ion batteries, in a way that uses silicon with what is practically drop-in to existing battery manufacturing processes,” said Jeff Chamberlain, CEO of Volta Energy Technologies. “Volta is excited to add Nanograf to its growing portfolio of advanced technology that will be part of the important supply chain of advanced battery and related technology. We are equally enthused by the quality of the group of investors in this round of financing being announced today.”

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