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October 19, 2015 AT 1:05 pm

Vacuum cleaner-maker Dyson invested in, then bought, a battery startup, Sakti3 @sakti3 @dyson #makerbusiness

Vacuum cleaner-maker Dyson is buying experimental battery startup Sakti3 – Quartz via strictlyvc.

Dyson, the British maker of vacuums, has agreed to acquire Ann Arbor, Mich.-based battery startup Sakti3 for $90 million in cash, according to Quartz. Sakti3 has raised around $50 million in VC funding from Dyson, Beringea, GM Ventures, ITOCHU Corp. and Khosla Ventures.

Sakti, a Workplace Excellence Awardee (2015), has been recognized with IHS CERAWeek’s Energy Innovation Pioneer Award (2014), by MIT’s Technology Review Magazine as one of the Top 50 Most Innovative Companies (2012) and World’s Top Ten, representing the “energy” category (2011). The senior team has over 100 years’ collective experience in research, manufacturing, and leadership. The company is a spinout of the University of Michigan, where its founding team created laboratories, published over 100 papers on batteries and related mathematics and physics, and demonstrated its first early prototypes. Financed by Khosla Ventures, Dyson, General Motors Ventures, Beringea and Itochu Technology Ventures, the company has been recognized for its innovative approaches in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Scientific American, Inc., Time, Automotive Engineering, the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR and other media.

SAKTI’S SOLID STATE BATTERY TECHNOLOGY

Sakti’s vacuum deposition technology was invented using advanced numerical models, coupled with real laboratory data on materials. The team began its work on computers. We methodically modeled the most promising, low cost materials, and developed battery compositions and configurations that offered great cell performance. The team also modeled the scale up of battery production, right from the start. We  developed plant models that enabled us to create the right processes on the right tools. Our aim was to create the most scalable, flexible and profitable methods possible.

Our early prototypes were made on simple equipment – we challenged ourselves to produce great battery cells on equipment that was not overly specialized. We worked to make sure that everything we did could be scaled.

Process technology is a big part of what we do. We focused on robust processes. We methodically integrated vacuum technology into our tools which preserved good cell properties, while enabling high quality, large scale production. Today, Sakti’s technology offers high production rates, and scalable, low CAPEX-to-revenue production methods that have demonstrated very high energy density battery cells. Our aim is to build batteries everywhere – for all kinds of applications.

Just a guess… sounds like some of the big players think it’s a battery game, Telsa is doing the powerwall


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