Sodium-Ion Battery Startup UNIGRID Secures $12mn Funding

Sodium-ion Battery Startup UNIGRID Secures $12mn Funding

UNIGRID Battery, a San Diego-based startup focusing on advanced sodium-ion batteries, has successfully closed an oversubscribed $12 million Series A funding round. The financing was co-led by Transition VC and Ritz Venture Capital. Additionally, new investor Union Square Ventures and existing investor Foothill Ventures participated in the funding.

Accelerating Sodium-ion Battery Production

UNIGRID plans to use the funds to scale up its battery production to meet MWh-scale customer orders. These orders are for both electric mobility and stationary storage markets. CEO Darren H. S. Tan emphasized the importance of their advanced sodium-ion batteries. He stated that these batteries will be critical for widespread, distributed energy storage across residential, commercial, and industrial markets.

Innovation in Sodium-Ion Technology

UNIGRID focuses on developing high-energy-density sodium-ion batteries. Its proprietary alloy anode technology addresses a crucial bottleneck: energy density. This innovation enables sodium-ion batteries to exceed the energy density of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries. Furthermore, UNIGRID’s technology eliminates the use of critical materials like lithium, cobalt, nickel, and copper. Instead, it uses abundant materials while achieving safety and performance metrics that surpass LFP batteries.

Strategic Partnerships and Support

Mona Alsubaei, Partner at Transition, highlighted the importance of more energy storage to keep up with intermittent renewables and to electrify various applications. She praised UNIGRID’s technology, noting its impressive energy density and safety metrics. Sangbin Ong, Managing Director at Ritz Venture Capital, also praised the unique opportunity presented by UNIGRID’s sodium-ion batteries in both stationary storage and electric mobility sectors.

Commercial Advantages

One of UNIGRID’s key strengths is its drop-in compatibility with conventional Li-ion battery manufacturing infrastructure. This compatibility allows them to scale products quickly without requiring highly customized equipment. As a result, the technology is resonating well with customers and system integrators seeking immediate Li-ion battery alternatives.

About UNIGRID Battery

UNIGRID Battery is a spin-off from the University of California, San Diego, founded in 2021. The company was established from the groundbreaking Ph.D. research of Dr. Darren H. S. Tan and Dr. Erik A. Wu, advised by Professors Zheng Chen and Shirley Meng. UNIGRID develops advanced sodium-ion batteries to power emerging energy storage and electric mobility applications.

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