Green Car Congress: Li-ion startup Cadenza Innovation raises $5+M in oversubscribed Series A; ex Boston Power teamMedia Coverage
Cadenza Innovation, a Li-ion battery startup founded in 2012 by Dr. Christina Lampe-Onnerud, former CEO and founder of Boston Power (earlier post), has raised more than $5 million in growth capital. The company says it will use the new funds to expand product development, secure additional certifications, extend initial deployments, make key new hires and fuel revenue growth.
Cadenza Innovation is bringing to market a low-cost and high-performance technology platform—cell design and housing—for licensing to lithium-ion battery manufacturers worldwide.
“Cadenza Innovation is capitalizing on its intellectual property, combined with the massive industry learning curve, advancements in manufacturing and increasingly mature supply chains, to create a very low cost approach for the packaging of lithium-ion chemistries. We’re excited to partner with global players for rapid implementation into this unprecedented market opportunity—paying particular attention to battery capacity inside a given footprint, total system cost and an unwavering commitment to safety. Doing this also enables our team to remain a meaningful part of the solution to climate change—a mission we’ve held as individuals for decades.” Dr. Lampe-Onnerud.
Cadenza says that its cell design combines the best properties from wound jelly rolls and large prismatic cells.
Its cylindrical jelly rolls are longer and wider compared to those in 18650 cells. These larger jelly rolls lead to significant packaging advantages (higher Wh/L), as well as lower cost and higher yield. The cells can use all state-of-the-art chemistries to optimize power or energy.
Thermally isolating housing featuring non-combustible ceramic fiber material formulations with high levels of fire retardant enables a closely packed jelly roll configuration without cascading failure. The thermal isolation is sufficient to allow large jelly rolls with no roll-to-roll runaway.
The company’s large prismatic cell configuration allows and open jelly roll structure with shared atmosphere. Non-expanding cells and no cascading result in space effective and low cost module designs.
The cell uses the entire jelly roll capacity distribution with no need for sorting, while the large format size allows easily incorporated low pressure vent and pressure disconnect designs in a space effective way.
Cadenza Innovation thus offers:
- Energy Density: tighter packaging of electrochemical units delivers longer range in existing vehicle designs as well as viable peak-shaving for grid and community energy storage in urban areas.
- Low Cost: highly simplified design using readily available components in global mass production to approach a price-neutral paradigm when compared to fossil fuels.
- Safety: integrated fire protection, enabling fail-safe battery packs for use in residential, grid and transportation applications.
With more than a dozen patent applications filed and four published, Cadenza Innovation says that its novel pack architecture for the EV market enables longer range in a smaller pack footprint; price parity with internal combustion engine vehicles; and eliminates battery pack fires caused by thermal runaway.
For the grid market, the company’s solution enables a smaller footprint to open up more placement options; generates higher return on investment via a wider range of use cases; and is critical for entry into dense urban markets characterized by strict safety codes.
Led by Golden Seeds, investors in the oversubscribed Series A round include Connecticut Innovations; Scale Investors; Summit Power Group Co-chairman Eric Redman; and entrepreneur, philanthropist and investor Mark Torrance, along with angel investors from Asia, Europe and North America.
Working closely with Dr. Lampe-Onnerud, Cadenza Innovation’s corporate and technical leadership team previously established Boston-Power, which today is based in China. The team includes Cadenza Innovation Chief Technology Officer Dr. Per Onnerud, Chief Operating Officer Declan Shalvey and Vice President of Research and Development Dr. Jay Shi.
The company is collaborating with an extensive network that includes FCA (Fiat Chrysler), ABB, Alcoa, Morgan Advanced Materials, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) and multiple supply chain sources throughout Asia and the US.
Development of the Cadenza platform has been funded, in part, by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), the US Department of Energy (Award Number DE-AR0000392) and from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) (Agreement Number 70422).
Additional financial assistance has been provided by the State of Connecticut, through both Connecticut Innovations and the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), and by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, through its MassCEC Catalyst Program Awards.
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