Echion’s six-minute battery charge technology raises £10m in Series A funding
Echion Technologies, the Sawston-based developer of next-generation materials for lithium-ion batteries, has raised £10m in a Series A funding round.
Echion spun out of the University of Cambridge in 2017, while co-founder and CEO Jean de La Verpillière was studying for a PhD in engineering at the Nanotechnology Doctoral Training Centre, King’s College.
Echion has since patented innovative battery anode active materials for superfast charging. Its Mixed Niobium Oxide technology is proven and ready for use.
The completed finance round has been led by CBMM – the world’s leading supplier of niobium products – and BGF, the UK and Ireland’s most active and dynamic investor of equity capital in growth economy companies. The University of Cambridge, Origin Capital and existing shareholders also took part.
Jean said: “We are tremendously excited to start the next stage in our journey to bring the Echion Mixed Niobium Oxide products to market.
“We have great synergies within our investor base, and will keep building a world-leading team to deliver exceptional performance to our customers. We look forward to creating value for our partners and contributing to making superfast charging batteries a reality.”
Echion’s battery materials have now been successfully evaluated by major battery cell and battery materials manufacturers around the world, who are now moving forward to larger-scale trials. The financing will allow Echion to scale-up to multi-tonne level material production, demonstrating high-yield, cost-effective manufacturability as well as to supply the growing demand for material for pre-production trials.
Richard Pugh, investor at BGF, who joins the board of Echion, said: “Echion has huge potential to use its cutting-edge battery chemistry technology to accelerate the adoption of batteries in a range of applications.
“BGF is convinced that batteries will play a critical role in the energy transition, and identified that Echion’s technology brings significant benefits in key areas such as fast-charging or high-power applications.
“This funding round will support an exceptional management team in completing the final push to commercial adoption, working in parallel with a range of very high quality stakeholders for instance recent joint projects with Johnson Matthey, and a number of other high profile international customers.”
The funding increases BGF’s investment in companies engaged in carbon reduction and the energy transition to £230m, and comes shortly after the announcement of its Clean Growth Advisory Board chaired by Baroness Brown of Cambridge.
Under Baroness Brown’s leadership, the board will “advise BGF on high-level sector trends and government policy, contribute to BGF’s investment strategy, and offer guidance on sub-sector trends and opportunities”.
Meanwhile, Rodrigo Amado, head of strategy and new ventures at CBMM, says: “Together, CBMM and Echion will advance towards sustainable mobility by offering ultra-fast charging batteries that have greater stability and longer life. We are optimistic and believe that these new products will be available within the next year.”
The funds will also be used to strengthen customer support, commercial and R&D operations.
Chris Gibbs, investment manager at Cambridge Enterprise, said: “Having supported Echion right from the start of its journey to commercialise its novel lithium-ion battery technology, Cambridge Enterprise is delighted to see it complete this significant funding round.
“Echion is now in a very strong position to deliver on the team’s robust commercial traction and make a significant impact in the industry.”
Rodrigo Amado, head of strategy and new ventures at CBMM, says: “This partnership is part of our global strategy to accelerate the time to market of our battery materials business front and bring to market an innovative niobium applied technology that will truly transform the way the world moves. Together, CBMM and Echion will advance towards sustainable mobility by offering ultra-fast charging batteries that have greater stability and longer life.
“We are optimistic and believe that these new products will be available within the next year.”