Fast-charging battery startup StoreDot hits $1.5 billion valuation in Series D
The Israeli company has so far raised $60 million in the round, led by VinFast, and is still hoping to bring onboard additional auto giants
StoreDot CEO Doron Myersdorf confirmed the news to Calcalist and noted that the current round will allow the company to take its time and determine if it should go public, whether via a merger with a SPAC or the traditional route, depending on the state of the market. Myersdorf confirmed that the company approached investment bank JP Morgan on the matter, but that the timing and likelihood of an IPO still remains unclear. “We brought in JP Morgan to advise us when would be the right time to go public in regards to the market and that is why we raised money that will last us for the near future.”
“We have come to the conclusion that the auto world should be our only focus and we are investing all of our resources in that sector,” added Myersdorf. “This entire ecosystem is going to undergo a revolution with everyone going electric and this is our window. We have an opportunity to create a massive market for fast-charging batteries.”
The Series D is being led by Vietnamese electric vehicle manufacturer, VinFast, which plans to scale up manufacturing and deploy StoreDot’s Extreme Fast Charging in future EV architectures. Participants include bp ventures, a current StoreDot investor and active partner, in addition to Golden Energy Global Investment Ltd., a wholly owned company by EVE Energy’s founder, Dr. Liu Jincheng. According to StoreDot, its extreme fast charging (XFC) batteries will revolutionize the conventional Li-ion battery by making it possible to fully charge an EV in just five minutes – the same time it takes to refuel a conventional combustion engine vehicle. In January of last year, the company showcased engineering samples of its first-generation 5-minute-charge battery. Those batteries can be used to power various devices including drones, electric motorcycles, scooters, power tools, and others.
The funds raised by this round will be used to complete StoreDot’s research and development for its silicon-dominant extreme fast charge (XFC) battery cells for electric vehicles and continue its progress on Extreme Energy Density cells based on Solid State technology for future deployment. This funding also enables the company to ramp up its California-based R&D center and commence scale-up operations in key global locations, in readiness for full mass production of cells in 2024. As part of the investment, VinFast is planning to build a battery manufacturing facility by 2024 that will produce batteries to be used in vehicles to be sold in 2025. The facility is set to manufacture 300,000 batteries a year. StoreDot had previously considered setting up its own manufacturing plant, but due to the massive costs incurred by building a facility and transporting the batteries, ultimately decided to change strategy and join forces with different manufacturers of electric vehicles in order to manufacture the batteries in their factories.
Established in 2017, VinFast is one of the leading auto manufacturers in Asia. VinFast recently started expanding to the North American and European markets. Most of the company’s models are based on BMW cars.
“We have been making dedicated efforts in research, connecting global intelligence by forming partnerships with and investing in breakthrough technology companies, especially in EV batteries such as StoreDot and its extreme fast charging (XFC) proprietary technology,” said Pham Thuy Linh, Deputy CEO at VinFast. “StoreDot which is led by gifted scientists and experienced entrepreneurs, along with strong support from VinFast and other strategic investors, will gear up for mass production globally in the very near term.”
Founded in 2012 by Myersdorf, Prof. Simon Litsyn, and Prof. Gil Rosenman, StoreDot has raised $130 million to date. Investors in the company include Roman Abramovich, the Wertheimer family, BP, Daimler, Samsung Ventures, GlenRock, Singulariteam, and TDK.