ActaCell Closes $5.8 Million Series A Financing To Commercialize Li-Ion Battery Technology
ActaCell, Inc. announced that it secured $5.8 million in Series A financing. DFJ Mercury led the round with syndicate investment from Google.org’s RechargeIT program, Applied Ventures, LLC, the venture capital arm of Applied Materials, Inc. and Good Energies, a global investor in the renewable energy and energy efficiency industry. The proceeds from the Series A financing will be used to hire key technical talent and to further develop ActaCell’s lithium-ion battery technology for commercial purposes.
ActaCell, Inc. is an Austin-based technology start-up commercializing lithium-ion battery technology developed in Professor Arumugam Manthiram’s Material Science and Engineering lab at The University of Texas at Austin. This new technology is focused on delivering substantially longer cycle life at low cost while maintaining safety as the number one priority.
"We were highly impressed with ActaCell’s pedigree," said Ned Hill, Managing Director at DFJ Mercury. "We believe their technology will significantly impact industries that rely on rechargeable batteries, particularly those that require high power and long cycle life such as Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles. Low cost, long life and safety are key attributes of ActaCell’s battery roadmap, the holy grail of battery technologies on the market today."
RechargeIT aims to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, cut oil use and stabilize the electrical grid by accelerating the adoption of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and vehicle-to-grid technology. Google.org demonstrates the technology using its own fleet and supporting others through grants and investments.
"When we launched RechargeIT we announced a request for investment proposals, hoping to identify top entrepreneurs finding innovative transportation solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming," said Gregory Miller, Google.org’s Managing Director of Investments. "Google.org is delighted to include ActaCell among the exciting companies we’re supporting."
In connection with this transaction, DFJ Mercury’s Ned Hill will join the ActaCell board of directors along with Dr. James R. Akridge, former Senior Director of Technology at Energizer and former CEO at Valence Technology, Inc.
"We are very pleased to have received financing from such prestigious and credible sources as DFJ Mercury, Google.org, Applied Ventures and Good Energies," said Bill Ott, President & CEO of ActaCell, Inc. "Battery technologies are the grand challenge facing development of cost effective Electric Vehicles today, and we are excited about the prospects of commercializing this technology from the University of Texas. Our development efforts will have an important impact on the current energy storage landscape in terms of delivered price and performance."
Still in the development phase, ActaCell’s technology has not been publicly disclosed. Full product and technology announcements will follow in early 2009.