Israeli startup StoreDot, a company developing fast-charging battery technologies, announced today $18 million USD of financing for its new electric vehicle (EV) business unit. The round follows a $42 million USD series B funding received last year, bringing the total funding to-date to $66 million USD.
Investors in this round include mostly existing investors such as Samsung Ventures and Norma Investments Limited, representing Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, and private investment fund Singulariteam.
The startup is applying its quantum dot-utilizing fast charging battery technology for electronics. “We work with organic compounds that are synthesized in our lab to dramatically reduce the resistance of the battery. Our technology is aiming to create a lithium battery with improved structure and materials”, said StoreDot’s CEO and founder Dr. Doron Myersdorf.
As a business expansion beyond its speedy battery charging technologies for the smartphone domain, the new round of funding is earmarked for development and commercialization of the EV unit. One of the company’s immediate goals is to build the first ever instantly-charging car prototype. Additionally, this funding will allow new hiring and additional labs for the new business unit.
Myersdorf noted, “The funding isn’t a shift towards EV business but an additional technological focus that will work parallel with our smartphone battery technology. That’s why we ensured it’s a different funding round, so we can continue working parallel on both.”
With StoreDot’s proprietary FlashBattery technology, the EV unit is aiming at a goal that allow drivers to recharge their cars in only five minutes as opposed to the long hours it currently takes. Last April, StoreDot has showed off a battery demo that could charge smartphone in 30 seconds.
“The timeline for any EV is about 5 years until it’s commercially available, and the first milestone that we set is to show in one year an initial prototype.”
When talking about obstacles encountered in shifting to EV battery field, he said “The biggest challenge is to work with high current that generates heat while charging, and the infrastructure of the grid – the need to supply more power.”
“In addition to perfecting the FlashBattery itself, the funding will support the development of a powerful charging station, a fast charging standard, and an integrated FlashBattery management system.”
Given Samsung’s dominance in smartphone industry and recent forays into smart car sector, it is natural to look for more cooperation opportunities between StoreDot and the investor when the technology is mature for commercial application. But Myersdorf explained that “We’re working with Samsung like any of our other partners. There’s no commercial agreement or exclusivity that requires us to work with Samsung solely.”
Image credit: StoreDot