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Ionic Materials Raises $65 Million to Speed Development of its Revolutionary Polymer Electrolyte for Solid-State Batteries

Series C funding round includes key financial and strategic investors and will advance next-generation battery technology

Woburn, Mass. – February 7, 2018 – Ionic Materials today announced it has secured $65 million in a Series C financing round from a leading group of financial and strategic investors. The strategic investors include companies from the battery manufacturing, consumer electronic and electric vehicle ecosystem who will be working with the company to speed the development of its solid polymer electrolyte battery material. These funds will fuel Ionic Materials’ accelerated growth, support its hiring plans and help the company meet the significant market demand for its novel polymer electrolyte.

“We are thrilled to have the ongoing support of venture capitalists, strategic investors and prominent individuals to solve a major energy problem: enabling safe, high-performance and cost-effective batteries for use across consumer electronics, electric transportation and grid storage,” said Mike Zimmerman, founder and CEO of Ionic Materials. “This funding round will allow us to add to our talented technical staff while continuing to engage and partner with companies interested in developing tomorrow’s solid-state battery technology today.”

Current batteries are manufactured with an expensive and flammable liquid electrolyte and use costly active materials. By replacing the liquid system with Ionic Materials’ solid plastic polymer material, solid-state batteries that are safe, cheaper and operational at room temperature become possible for the first time. The special properties of Ionic Materials’ polymer electrolyte allow the use of high-energy materials and support lithium-ion cells with low- or even no- cobalt in their cathodes. Further advancements made possible by Ionic Materials’ polymer will support very inexpensive and low-cost rechargeable alkaline batteries as well.

“The Ionic Materials polymer is truly groundbreaking. It’s no surprise that so many of the leading companies in the battery industry and their key customers are working to incorporate the Ionic Materials polymer in their next-generation products,” said Bill Joy, who has been a personal investor in all the rounds of financing and was a founding member of the Ionic Materials Board of Directors. “The many innovations in electrochemistry that the polymer unlocks will change the future of renewable energy. Products from our partners using Ionic Materials’ technology will lead the charge to safely power everyday products with eco-friendly, high-capacity batteries.”

Ionic Materials will provide its polymer to the battery industry as an advanced materials supplier. Through this approach, it will reach the broadest market segments and establish a complete ecosystem of cell manufacturers serving the consumer electronic, electric vehicle and energy storage markets.

“Ionic Materials has created a new composition of matter that will be fundamental to the transformation of the battery as we know it. Over my 30-year career working in energy storage, Ionic Materials’ polymer stands out as a breakthrough innovation that is a critical element to the next generation of batteries,” said Jan van Dokkum, Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Chairman of the Ionic Materials Board of Directors. “Numerous energy storage start-ups have made progress in the past, but the industry will be transformed by a novel material like Ionic Materials’ polymer which can replace liquid electrolytes with a solid alternative and help the industry get past the safety, cost and performance challenges it faces.”

Solid-state batteries inch their way toward commercialization

Chemical & Engineering News, November 20, 2017 by Marc S. Reisch

Though still a nascent technology, solid-state batteries are hot right now. Among the most prominent proponents is Toyota, which aims to commercialize solid-state batteries for electric cars by 2022.

Other auto competitors are close on Toyota’s heels in the rush to satisfy government mandates for emission-free alternatives to gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles. BMW, for example, has also indicated a keen interest in developing solid-state batteries for their promise of better safety and higher energy density.

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Bill Joy on three inventions that may change the world

Tree Hugger, November 1, 2017 by Lloyd Alter

The tech pioneer turned investor talks meat, batteries, and cement.

It’s hard to write a happy story these days. So it was exhilarating to read Bill Joy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems and now an investor, describing three of the green investments he has made that he thinks will change the world. “They’re not the only breakthroughs that will help us transition to a more sustainable economy and society, but innovations in these three fields have the potential to radically transform the way we live.”

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Three tech breakthroughs that will help transform the world

Washington Post, October 31, by Bill Joy

We are living unsustainably. Greenhouse gas emissions threaten runaway climate change, and excessive nitrogen pollutes our waters. We sense the impending sixth extinction but are shocked by breaking news of a mass decline in insects. Information technology has rapidly transformed our economy but not areas such as energy, materials and food, where we desperately need sustainability. We need to change our course.

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New battery technologies are getting a charge from venture investors

TechCrunch, Posted Sep 7, 2017 by Jonathan Shieber

Venture capital investors once again are getting charged up over new battery technologies.

The quest to build a better battery has occupied venture investors for nearly a decade, since the initial clean technology investment bubble of the mid-2000s.

Now, some of those same investors are returning to invest in battery businesses, drawn by the promise of novel chemistries and new materials that aim to make more powerful, smaller and safer batteries.

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With Revolutionary Battery Tech, We Can Shift Global Energy To Renewables, Says Bill Joy

Huffington Post, September 6, 2017 by Nathan Gardels

Bill Joy was a cofounder of Sun Microsystems, famous for his essay in Wired magazine in 2000, “Why The Future Doesn’t Need Us.” An investor and inventor, he is a board member at Ionic Materials, which recently announced a major breakthrough in creating solid-state rechargeable batteries. He spoke this week with The WorldPost’s editor-in-chief Nathan Gardels.

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Is the savior battery nigh?

DW News, September 1, 2017

Tech visionary Bill Joy has been investing much of his time and a lot of money in Ionic Materials, a startup developing a solid-polymer-electrolyte battery. Is it the global game-changer everyone is waiting for?

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U.S. Claims Breakthrough with Rechargeable Alkaline Battery

Channel News (Australia), August 3, 2017

A Massachusetts start-up company today plans to unveil what it claims is a major breakthrough in battery design: technology that it claims can make solid-state alkaline batteries a viable alternative to lithium-ion and other high-energy storage technologies.

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