Battery darling Our Next Energy lands massive $300M Series B to build gigafactory

News Summary

  • Also joining the round are two unnamed strategic investors, “a manufacturer of EV technology solutions and a renewable energy provider,” the company said.Franklin Templeton’s addition is notable because it represents a shift from straight venture to including growth equity.
  • I asked Ijaz, who was an executive at the company during its rise and following its sale in bankruptcy, whether he thought this time would go any differently.“I’ve thought a lot about this as I went through that experience very closely,” he said.
  • While LFP was invented in the U.S., most of the production today takes place in China.That’s in part because pioneering battery company A123 Systems bet big on the chemistry only to see the market for its cells evaporate.
  • Over the last decade, Chinese companies have developed vast factories that can crank out cells at low prices.In some ways, ONE’s gigafactory endeavor echoes that of A123, and that story didn’t end well.
  • Chinese companies also swept in and bought the rights to many LFP-related patents, several of which only expired last year.After the successful launch of the Tesla Model S, LFP cells were unable to deliver the range consumers expected and fell out of favor in the U.S. and Europe.
  • That sent the company into bankruptcy, where it was purchased for a song by a major Chinese auto parts company.
Battery startup Our Next Energy announced this morning that it closed a massive $300 million Series B in an effort to get its $1.6 billion gigafactory up and running.The new round values the compan [+3321 chars]