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 Speciality Chemical Ltd, Australian VC Artesian, and Electrification & Decarbonization AIE LP, a fund managed by Waratah Capital, alongside backers including Riverstone Ventures, Chaos Ventures, Investible Climate Tech Fund LP and Club Investible through its Climate Tech fund.
Entrepreneur Christiaan Jordaan and materials scientist Andrew Minett founded Sicona in 2019, setting out to develop next-generation battery technology used in
the anodes (negative electrodes) of lithium-ion batteries used for electric vehicles and renewables storage.
They’re ben commercialising silicon-graphite composite technology and materials researchers at the University of Wollongong’s Australian Institute for Innovative Materials for more than 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 enabling more than 50% increase in energy density of existing Li-ion batteries,” Jordaan, Sicona’s CEO, said.
“By using silicon metal (and not expensive, supply chain constrained and dangerous silane gas like our competitors) Sicona can offer low-cost silicon anode materials at large automotive scale locally in major markets.”
The Wollongong-based startup is now looking to build a silicon-carbon production plant in the south eastern United States to serve that market.
Jordaan said the fresh capital will provide significant growth capacity in the US over the next year.
“Welcoming one of the leading global speciality chemical companies as a strategic investor in our Series A round allows us to accelerate our mission of becoming 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 provides our customers the confidence that we can deliver a silicon-carbon anode material at a capital intensity and $/kg price which is feasible for mass-automotive market adoption.”