Venture Capital

Stanford Spinout Anthro Energy Secures $7.2 Million Seed Round

SAN JOSE — Anthro Energy, Inc., an advanced battery technology company that was first developed at Stanford — has closed an oversubscribed $7.2 million seed round. Union Square Ventures and Energy Revolution Ventures co-led the financing, with participation from Voyager Ventures, Emerson Collective, Nor’Easter Ventures, Ultratech Capital Partners, and the Stanford President’s Venture Fund. The capital will accelerate the commercialization of Anthro’s core battery technology platform for applications ranging from wearables to mobility and beyond.

Anthro spun out of Stanford University in 2021 and is currently located in San Jose, CA. Anthro is also supported by, National Security Innovation Capital, a U.S. Department of Energy Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant, and a U.S. Army XTech SBIR award. Anthro says it is currently hiring for a number of high-impact roles across all business functions.

Lithium-ion batteries are at the heart of the electrify-everything revolution. But today’s bulky, rigid batteries are difficult to integrate into electronics of all sizes, and they present serious safety hazards including fires and chemical leakage. To solve these issues, Anthro has developed a novel polymer engineering platform to enable the world’s first ‘structural’ batteries. These battery cells withstand mechanical deformation, and are completely safe. The result is an energy source that can be designed into a device, rather than a design hindrance.

“At Anthro, we think differently about what the future of energy storage looks like. The ability to pack more battery power into a device is transformative for any application,” said Dr. David Mackanic, founder and CEO of Anthro. “Our technology uniquely enables us to put batteries in places they have never gone before. Our vision is to enable a world where safe, structurally stable batteries are embedded everywhere, for a clean, connected society.”

Anthro currently utilizes its core polymer technology in its line of flexible battery products. These flexible batteries can be integrated into ‘dead space’ of devices such as straps, bands, and substrates to create 2-5 fold improvements in run time and functionality. The initial markets for flexible batteries include wearables and medical devices, where today’s batteries throttle device performance and create bulky, uncomfortable experiences for the user. Anthro is currently providing prototypes to several partners developing a wide range of wearable products.

Beyond flexible batteries, Anthro’s polymer engineering platform provides avenues to create improved energy storage devices for applications of all sizes. “The exciting thing about our technology is its versatility,” said Anthro’s CTO and co-founder Dr. Joe Papp. “Our materials can impart safety and structural integrity to batteries of any chemistry, for any application. Safety and mechanical stability are core challenges facing the next-generation of high-performance batteries, and we have a solution for that.”

Unlike many other solutions for creating next-generation batteries, Anthro’s technology is completely compatible with existing battery manufacturing lines. The high scalability of the technology will enable lower capital expenditure, a quicker time to market, and ultimately lower cost than competing technologies.

“Anthro’s highly tunable electrolyte technology enables high conductivity, strength, safety, and stability in next-generation batteries.” said Peter Robson, managing director of Energy Revolution Ventures, a UK-based venture capital firm focused on funding electrochemistry technologies. “We are excited by their approach that uses a scalable engineering process to solve the challenges of both today’s and tomorrow’s lithium-ion batteries.”

“Anthro’s strategy of delivering revolutionary battery technology in a differentiated product is very compelling. It is clear that we need to solve the issues of battery safety and stability to create an electrified future” said Albert Wenger, managing partner at Union Square Ventures. “Developing a clear path to market is challenging for most battery technologies, but Anthro has already demonstrated clear customer traction and high performance. We are excited to support them on their journey towards commercialization.” added Mona Alsubaei, an investor at USV.