Berlin-based profit-for-impact startup betteries has successfully closed its €2.1 million seed funding round led by impact funds Factor[e] Ventures and Beyond Black. The Munich-based family office ISAR AG, an unnamed French family office and existing shareholders have completed the round. The funding will enable betteries to refine its business model, serve more customers in developed and frontier markets, launch its first two products – betterPack and betterGen – in 2021, and advance the development of betterStore.
Dr. Rainer Hönig, CEO and founder of betteries, said: “This seed round is anything but transactional. The partnership and support from our lead investors Factor[e] Ventures and Beyond Black is critical to us because of their deep market knowledge, customer access in frontier markets and developed economies, and impact investment networks. This is really about collaboration and partnership so that we can scale industrially as quickly as possible. We are excited to work together to advance our mission to recycle batteries to avert climate change. Together with such a strong group of investors, we can do it.”
“We are incredibly excited to partner with betteries. Energy storage remains a critical pain point when it comes to providing productive energy access to customers in emerging markets. Betteries’ technology and approach goes beyond simply extending the life of EV batteries, and is an important step in providing more affordable and long-lasting energy solutions to the millions of homes and businesses in emerging markets that still lack access to reliable energy. We are excited to help betteries scale with this round of funding,” said Jit Bhattacharya, Principal at Factor[e] Ventures.
Upcycling batteries. Averting climate change.
The idea of electric vehicles (EVs) as an alternative mode of transport with lower CO2 emissions dates back to 2010, when the Nissan Leaf was launched, for example. Since then, many new models have been developed and countless new EVs are expected in the coming years. What many people don’t realize is that when EV batteries are taken out of use, they still have 70% to 80% of their original storage capacity. And already there are warehouses full of “spent” electric car batteries that are in fact still quite usable and could serve as energy storage systems.
But that is only half the truth. While Europe, North America, China and Japan have this untapped energy glut, energy poverty continues to keep individuals and communities in frontier markets from thriving. They suffer from inadequate power supply which forces them to run very carbon intensive small generators to provide electricity and internal combustion engines to power boats, two and three wheelers.
Achieve significant effects on a rapid scale
In order to make a significant contribution to climate protection and to supply as many customers as possible with affordable and clean electricity, fast action is required. betterie’s first two products will hit the market as early as 2021. 48V mobile and modular betterPacks can be stacked to deliver 3kWh to 12kWh of energy and 2-5kW of power, making them an environmentally friendly power source for DC devices or small vehicles (think e-boats and e-rickshaws). Combined with an inverter – the betterGen – it becomes the ideal replacement for millions of small gas and diesel generators.
Another product is the larger containerized storage unit – the modular betterStore, which will provide highly economically attractive and reliable 15kWh – 150kWh energy storage for solar, wind or hydroelectric powered “mini-grids” to bring clean electricity to remote locations around the world.