GREENSBORO – Soelect, developer and manufacturer of advanced solid-state battery components designed for the next generation of electric vehicles, has raised $11 million in Series A funding.
Lotte Ventures led the investment, with participation from GM Ventures and KTB Networks, the company said in a statement.
“There are urgent demands for [the] electric vehicle market, and we all know [the] battery plays a significant role in [any] electric vehicle,” said Sung-Jin Cho, Ph.D, the company’s founder and CEO, in an interview with WRAL TechWire.
“My goal and dream over 20 years,” said Cho. “Is to commercialize and manufacture battery products with our own developed technology.”
Cho told WRAL TechWire that it was clear that the future of automotive would rely on high energy, fast-charging batteries and battery technology.
“I wanted to be a “great example of technology commercialization from a sketch”,” Cho noted. “We hope to see our product in next generation electric vehicle soon.”
The company noted in a statement that its fast charge capable LiX™ anode technologies are “an enabler for next generation of lithium metal anode and solid-state batteries for electric vehicles.”
Down the road, in Randolph County, Toyota will invest $1.29 billion to construct its first electric battery manufacturing plant, which sources told WRAL TechWire could establish the region and the state as a hub for electric vehicle production. Across town, Boom Supersonic will build its supersonic passenger jets, which could launch a new era of flight and transportation.
Soelect “offers LiX™ anode technology and polymer-based solid-state electrolyte platform for high energy density and batteries, enabling portable electronics, drones, aircraft, space and any defense tactical weapons manufacturers to get cheaper and efficient battery product compared to the lithium-ion batteries,” according to the company’s website.
LiX™ is the best lithium metal anode for fast charge capability for all advanced batteries and solid-state batteries, Cho told WRAL TechWire.
“All lithium metals are suffering from metal dendrite issue which cause a huge safety concern,” he noted. “We designed LiX™ anode to mitigate dendrite growth over the long-term cycling and capable fast-charging cycle in 15 min.”
NC as world leading EV ecosystem
The company raised $1 million in seed funding in 2020, according to SEC filings, though Cho told WRAL TechWire that the seed round was about $2.3 million. The company filed a form with the SECAccording to Cho, the company has about 15 employees and plans to double in size, including adding battery engineers, lab technicians, and other roles.
“The Series A financing enables us to expand our team and build up the resources necessary to scale our lithium metal batteries included liquid and solid-state batteries for our partners and customers, as well as initiate the development of high-volume manufacturing processes,” Cho told WRAL TechWire.
“We have enough resources to build up EV ecosystem in North Carolina,” Cho noted, adding that North Carolina is the original lithium metal hub in the world with two major global producers, Albermarle and Livent based in the Charlotte region, which also now has Piedmont Lithium.
“This is great time to build the world’s best lithium/battery/EV ecosystem in North Carolina,” said Cho. “We need more support from local and state government,” said Cho, noting that if the goal is to develop a world-leading ecosystem, additional support would be needed in place prior to the completion of Toyota’s facility in Randolph County.