Press Release: Impact Startup betteries Secures €2.1 Million Seed Funding to Upcycle Electric Vehicle (EV) Batteries and to Avert Climate Change
The Berlin-based profit for impact startup betteries has successfully closed its €2.1m seed funding round led by impact funds Factor[e] Ventures and Beyond Black. Munich-based family office ISAR AG, an undisclosed French family office as well as existing shareholders have completed the round. Funding will allow betteries to refine its business model, serve more customers in developed economies and frontier markets, get its first two products – the betterPack and the betterGen – launched into the market in 2021 and kick-start the development of the betterStore.
Dr. Rainer Hönig, CEO and founder of betteries, said: “This seed round is far from transactional. The partnership and support from our lead investors, Factor[e] Ventures and Beyond Black, is crucial to us because of their in-depth market knowledge, customer access in frontier markets and developed economies as well as impact investment networks. This is really about the collaboration and partnership to get us to scale industrially as fast as possible. We are delighted to jointly move forward with our mission to upcycle batteries in order to avert climate change. Together with such a strong group of investors we can make it happen.”
“We are incredibly excited to be partnering with betteries. Energy storage remains a critical pain point in bringing productive energy access to emerging market customers. Beyond simply extending the life of EV batteries, betteries’ technology and approach are a step change in bringing more affordable, longer life energy solutions to the millions of homes and businesses in emerging markets still lacking access to reliable power. With this funding round, we are thrilled to be supporting betteries on their path to scale,” said Jit Bhattacharya, Principal with Factor[e] Ventures.
Upcycle batteries. Avert climate change.
The idea of electric vehicles (EV) as an alternative form of transportation with fewer CO2 emissions already goes way back to 2010, when for example the Nissan Leaf first entered the market. Since then, a lot of new models have been developed and there is a myriad of new EVs expected in the coming years. What a lot of people don’t realize is that when EV batteries are taken out of EV use, they still have 70% to 80% of their original storage capacity. And already today, there are warehouses full of “spent” EV batteries that are in fact still quite useful and could serve as energy storage systems.
This is only half the story though. While Europe, North America, China and Japan have this untapped energy glut, energy poverty continues to keep individuals and communities in frontier markets from flourishing. They suffer from insufficient electricity supply forcing them to operate highly-carbon intensive small-scale generators to secure electricity supply and internal combustions engines to power boats, two and three-wheelers.
Deliver sizable impact at rapid scale
To significantly contribute to climate change mitigation and bring affordable and clean power to as many customers as possible, rapid action is required. betteries first two products will already launch in 2021. 48V mobile and modular betterPacks can be stacked to provide 3kWh to 12kWh energy and 2-5kW power, making them an eco-friendly source of power for DC appliances or small vehicles (think e-boats and e- rickshaws). Combined with an inverter – the betterGen – it becomes the ideal replacement for millions of small-scale gas and diesel generators.
Another product is the larger containerized storage unit – the modular betterStore, which will provide economically highly attractive and reliable 15kWh – 150kWh energy storage for solar, wind or hydro- powered “mini-grids” to bring clean power to remote locations all over the world.
betteries upcycles 2nd life electric vehicle (EV) batteries to accelerate the transition to renewables and is well positioned to deliver scalable CO2 savings and protect scarce resources. The business model embraces circular economy principles by ensuring recycling at the end of the 2nd life and significantly lowers cost for customers through the battery-as-a-service offering.
About Factor[e] Ventures
Factor[e] Ventures is a team of ventures builders dedicated to supporting the growth of early stage, technology-enabled companies solving challenges in energy, agriculture, mobility, and waste in emerging markets. For more information, please visit Factor[e] Ventures.
About Beyond Black
Beyond Black invests in companies that can significantly contribute to climate change mitigation. They believe it is important that their portfolio companies have the potential to move the needle and significantly reduce emissions. Therefore, they set the bar high – 0.5% of global emissions – and conduct a careful calculation of the “carbon math” before they invest. For more information, please visit Beyond Black.
Photo courtesy of Patrick.