Leyden Energy Receives $20 Million in Series B Financing

Leyden Energy

Leyden Energy, a Fremont, California – based lithium-ion battery maker, announced Wednesday that it raised $20 million in a Series B round of financing. New Enterprise Associates (NEA) led this round of funding and included existing investors Lightspeed Ventures, Sigma Partners and Walden International. Leyden Energy also announced that it added NEA’s Ron Bernal to its Board of Directors.

The company said that the money would be used towards the production of its lithium-ion battery technology for the consumer electronics, energy storage and electric vehicle markets. The following video illustrates how lithium-ion batteries are made by Leyden:

"Leyden Energy combines all of the elements we look for in a portfolio company—tangible intellectual property that can be commercialized in a cost-effective manner to address a large market problem," said Ron Bernal, venture partner at NEA. "What the company has introduced is really an energy storage platform that can be applied to a number of different product markets in order to increase the value that those applications bring to end customers. We are excited to be working with Leyden Energy to usher in its next stage of growth."

"The involvement of a top-tier investor and growth partner like NEA further validates the recent progress Leyden Energy has made in bringing its product suite to market," said Aakar Patel, president and CEO of Leyden Energy. "Market demand for high-performance, long-lasting batteries in consumer electronics is growing, and we are perfectly positioned to answer that demand and improve the customer experience for product manufacturers worldwide."

– This post was written by Rob Stewart, a graduate student pursuing an M.A. in Urban Sustainability at the Antioch University of Los Angeles, and edited by Leonard Adler, Founder and Publisher of Green VC.

Battery Company Boston-Power Receives $60 Million in Series E Funding

Boston-Power

Boston-Power, a Westborough, Massachusetts-based provider of lithium-ion batteries, announced in late June that it received $60 million in Series E funding.  This round was co-led by existing investors Foundation Asset Management (FAM) and Oak Investment Partners, with participating from current investors Venrock and Gabriel Venture Partners. With this funding, Boston-Power has raised a total of $185 million. 

The company said that it will use this funding to expand manufacturing, sales, marketing, and research and development for its next-generation Lithium-ion Battery Technology Platform.  The company has thusfar developed and introduced the following products from this platform:

  • Sonata – For notebook and portable power applications
  • Swing – For electric vehicle, industrial and utility applications

“Energy storage is the cornerstone of some of the most profound shifts in technology and society that we’ve seen in our lifetimes - ranging from the electrification of transportation and the reinvention of grid power to truly ubiquitous mobility,” said Boston-Power Founder and CEO Dr. Christina Lampe-Önnerud. “Boston-Power’s technology platform answers the call for new and better-performing batteries to facilitate these historic advancements. We’ve entered our next stage of growth to accommodate the demand we’re seeing across all markets and from around the world, and we’re doing so with a world-class team of employees, customers, investors and partners.”

“Boston-Power is among the best positioned companies in energy storage based on its ability to commercialize its breakthrough battery technology and attract a growing list of top-branded customers,” said Oak Investment Partners Managing Partner Bandel Carano. “All of Boston-Power’s investors and board members are truly excited to help these world class entrepreneurs scale their patented innovations in cycle life, safety, power and energy density of Lithium-ion battery solutions into very high volume applications in portable electronics, electric vehicles and grid storage.”

BYD Receives Approximately $230 Million Investment from Berkshire Hathaway’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings

BYD

MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, recently announced that it has agreed to purchase 225 million shares, representing approximately a 10 percent stake, in the Chinese company BYD Company Limited. This investment is valued at 1.8 billion Hong Kong dollars, or approximately 230 million U.S. dollars.  BYD’s actitivies include researching, developing, manufacturing, and selling rechargeable batteries, automobiles, and electric automobiles.  BYD was founded in 1995 and has 130,000 employees worldwide.

"We are thrilled to be partners with BYD and the people of China. Mr. Wang Chuanfu has an extraordinary managerial record, and we welcome the opportunity to work with him," said Warren E. Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

"MidAmerican is pleased to make an investment in BYD – a high-caliber organization, committed to making a dramatic environmental impact with their products," said David Sokol, chair of MidAmerican. "As worldwide discussions relating to global climate change and environmental respect continue, the technologies being developed by BYD will be an integral part of the future."

"We are extremely pleased and grateful that Berkshire Hathaway and MidAmerican will be our long-term investor and partner, as we bring our electric vehicles and other environmental protection measures to the global space," said Mr. Wang Chuanfu, chairman of BYD Company Limited.

According to Bloomberg, Mr. Sokol will join the BYD board as a non-executive director.  Bloomberg also reported that Sokol stated at a press briefing today that the two companies will work together on developing batteries to store energy from wind and solar power generation.  BYD has also previously stated that it plans to sell hybrid cars in the US by 2010.

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A123 Systems Files Registration Statement with SEC for IPO; Discloses $102.1 Million in Additional Equity Financing

A123 Systems

A123 Systems, a company that develops and manufactures lithium-ion batteries and battery systems for the transportation, electric grid services, and portable power markets, announced in August that it filed a S-1 registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission relating to a proposed initial public offering (IPO) of up to $175 million of its common stock on the NASDAQ Global Market under the ticker symbol "AONE".  You can view this filing by clicking on the image below:

A123 Systems S-1

A123 Systems was founded in 2001 to commercialize new battery technology developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The company began selling its first products commercially in the first quarter of 2006.  The company’s revenue was $34.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2006, $41.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2007, and $10.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2008.

A key source of A123 Systems’ revenue to date has been Black & Decker, to which A123 Systems has supplied batteries for their portable power tools.  The company also operates in other market segments, including transportation and electric grid services. A123 Systems has acquired a number of companies over the years including Hymotion.  The following video provides an illustration of some of A123 Systems’ technology in the transportation sector:

Investors in A123 Systems include General Electric, Procter & Gamble, Alliance Capital, Motorola, Qualcomm, North Bridge Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, CMEA Ventures, FA Technology Ventures, OnPoint, Carruth Management, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Desh Deshpande (A123 Systems’ board chair). 

In A123 Systems’ S-1 filing, the company stated that it raised $102,085,005 in equity financing (6,152,553 shares of Series E convertible preferred stock at $16.59 per share) after March 31, 2008.  The company also stated that it had received aggregate net proceeds of approximately $266.1 million since its founding from the financing activities of private placements of preferred stock, common stock, convertible promissory notes, demand notes, term loans, revolving credit facilities and other credit facilities.

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