Group14 Technologies, a Woodinville, Wash.-based battery manufacturer, announced today that it raised $214 million from investors that include Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund.
The investment from Microsoft is another vote of confidence in Group14, which has developed a silicon-carbon composite material that can replace the graphite anodes in lithium-ion batteries, improving their performance by 50% and providing faster recharging times, according to the company.
Group14 in October received $100 million as part of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand domestic battery manufacturing for EVs and the electrical grid. In May, the company disclosed a $400 million investment — the first part of the Series C round — led by Porsche AG, which plans to use the company’s technology in some of its electric vehicles.
The new investment brings Group14’s Series C round to $614 million — putting it in the top 10 of this year’s climate tech funding rounds, according to PitchBook. The company is now valued at more than $3 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The latest funding comes from a consortium that includes Microsoft, Lightrock Climate Impact Fund, Moore Strategic Ventures, Oman Investment Authority and Molicel.
“Batteries are becoming the backbone of the clean energy transition,” said Brandon Middaugh, director of Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund, in a statement. “Group14’s technology shows strong potential to accelerate decarbonization of transportation, electronics, energy storage and beyond.”
Microsoft created a $1 billion fund in 2020 to back innovation in carbon reduction and removal technologies, many of which could help the company meet its ambitious goal of becoming carbon negative by 2030. It has invested in more than a dozen companies to date.
Group14 was founded in 2015 and launched its first commercial-scale Battery Active Materials factory in Woodinville in April 2021. It is also building facilities in Eastern Washington’s Moses Lake. The site will be home to two manufacturing modules that will produce enough material to power at least 200,000 EVs, according to the company.
Group14 is also building a factory in South Korea as part of a joint venture with SK Inc.
Alameda, Calif.-based Sila Nanotechnologies is building a facility in Moses Lake to manufacture its silicon anode materials. Sila’s first commercial customer is Mercedes-Benz.
There should be plenty of customers for both as battery demand will only keep growing.
EVs are expected to account for more than half of passenger cars sold in the U.S. by 2030, according to BloombergNEF. Last year they accounted for less than 5% of American sales.
The pace of adoption will likely be even faster in Washington state: This month state leaders plan to adopt EV sales targets that match California’s, which require all new light-duty vehicle sales by 2035 to be zero-emission.
“It comes down to shortening the path to market for OEMs so we can meet EV demand today,” Rick Luebbe, CEO & co-Founder of Group14, said in a statement. “The market has been moving at a breakneck pace, and right now, we’re truly at a crossroads for the future of electrified mobility.”