After a slow start to 2016, venture investment and merger and acquisition activity in the advanced battery market picked up significantly in the second quarter of 2016. This new activity underscores the growing interest of the capital markets in advanced battery and energy storage technologies and the increasing proximity of several major, new advanced battery applications to commercial profitability.
According to a report by Mercon Capital, during the second quarter of 2016, investors made 10 new venture investments, totaling $125 million, in advanced battery companies. This more than doubled the $54 million invested in similar companies during the first quarter of 2016. Lithium ion battery companies received the largest portion of these investments with $51 million invested in three deals.
A $43 million raise by silicon anode developer Nexeon accounted for the large majority of these advanced battery investments. The Nexeon financing was provided by a syndicate of five investors, including German chemical and polysilicon maker Wacker Chemie. The next largest raise was Aquion Energy, which closed on a $33 million investment from an undisclosed investor. Next came energy storage software provider Stem, which closed on a $15 million Series C round.
Mercon Capital reports that battery and storage companies also secured $65 million in debt and public markets financing during the second quarter of 2016, compared to $28 million in the previous quarter.
Finally, there were four mergers and acquisitions in the advanced battery and energy storage sectors, with the largest being Total’s $1.1 billion acquisition of Saft. Another notable acquisition was ENGIE purchasing an 80% stake in Green Charge Networks for an undisclosed amount.
Given the growing interest of the capital markets in advanced battery and energy storage companies, it is likely that a portion of the NAATBatt 2017 Annual Meeting & Conference, scheduled for March 14-16, 2017, outside Phoenix, Arizona, will be devoted to analyzing the appetite of those markets and helping NAATBatt members better access them. Please put those meeting dates on your calendar and plan to join us outside Phoenix for the latest information and advice about how to raise capital for advanced battery and energy storage companies.
The organizing committee of the 2017 meeting will hold its initial call next Friday and will begin the process of selecting content for the program. I would encourage all NAATBatt members who wish to be involved in shaping the 2017 meeting and its contents to contact me and get involved with the work of the committee.