Bet­ter­ies: Seed financ­ing round suc­cess­ful­ly completed

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.