ALAMEDA — Sila Nanotechnologies, a next-generation battery materials company, has secured $170 million in Series E funding led by automotive giant Daimler AG. The funding will help bring the first Sila Nano-powered batteries into the market, accelerating the path toward powerful, low-cost electric vehicles.
This latest round brings the company’s total funding to $295 million and a valuation of $1 billion. Jeff Immelt, former CEO of General Electric, will also be joining Sila Nano’s Board as an independent director, bringing deep global expertise in materials and manufacturing.
In addition to Daimler, new investor 8VC participated alongside returning investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Chengwei Capital, Matrix Partners, Siemens Next47, and Sutter Hill Ventures. With its investment, Daimler’s Alex Nediger, Director of Cooperation and Innovation Management, will also join the Sila Nano board.
Founded in 2011, Sila Nano is a leader in battery storage innovation, pioneering novel manufacturing methods to create a silicon-based anode to replace graphite in a lithium-ion battery. Improvements to traditional li-ion battery chemistry have stalled to a mere 1-2 percent increase every few years, holding back the potential of everything from consumer electronics to electric vehicles. Sila Nano’s breakthrough chemistry demonstrates a dramatic 20 percent improvement today, with the potential to reach 40 percent improvement over state of the art traditional li-ion.
“We’ve cracked the code on silicon thanks to eight years and 35,000 iterations developing our materials to improve battery storage capacity,” said Gene Berdichevsky, co-founder and CEO, Sila Nano. “Now we’re ready to bring this to market, and partners like Daimler and Jeff Immelt bring critical expertise and support as we enter this next phase and begin putting Sila inside the vehicles and devices people use every day.”
Sila Nano appoints Jeff Immelt to its board as the company looks to grow into a global organization and serve energy storage needs across industries. Immelt brings deep global industrial experience from his tenure as CEO of GE, including a worldwide network of organizations that could benefit from Sila Nano’s innovations.
“Advancements in lithium-ion batteries have become increasingly limited, and we are fighting for incremental improvements,” said Jeff Immelt. “I’ve seen first-hand that this is a huge opportunity that is also incredibly hard to solve. The team at Sila Nano has not only created a breakthrough chemistry, but solved it in a way that is commercially viable at scale.”
Sila Nano set out with the global electronics and automotive markets in mind and designed its materials to be scalable and practical for growing global demand. Their materials are developed using widely available commodities, ensuring a consistent supply. The final product easily drops into existing li-ion factories, clearing the path to broad adoption.
With the latest round of financing secured, Sila Nano has begun ramping up production volume and plans to supply its first commercial customers in consumer electronics within the next year. Sila Nano will continue to scale up production in the next few years with plans to go to market with automaker partners BMW and Daimler.