Published on April 19th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan0
Ultracapacitor Startup Raises €2.2 Million
An executive from ultracapacitor startup Skeleton Technologies emailed me recently to let me know that the company had just raised €2.2 million in Round A financing. According to a press release shared with me, Skeleton Technologies’ ultracapacitors “have 4 times higher power densities and up to 2 times higher energy densities than the closest competitors.”
The €2.2 million in financing was led by Up Invest, an Estonian private equity investor.
“The financing will be used to meet increasing demand for high performance energy storage solutions. SkelCap ultracapacitors which have a power density of 80 kW/L and energy density of 14 Wh/L represent the single biggest increase in ultracapacitor performance of the last two decades,” the press release added.
CEO Taavi Madiberk says that customers already include “the European Space Agency and several US and European Tier 1 automotives.”
This is not my area of expertise, so rather than conjecture and rephrase, I’m going to repost most of the remainder of the press release here for now:
Skeleton Technologies’ ultracapacitors will solve crucial energy storage problems with a green, environmentally friendly and cost-effective solution by recapturing braking energy and providing peak and back-up power to increase energy efficiency in a variety of applications ranging from automotive start-stop systems for conserving fuel to windmill pitch control for more efficient renewable energy generation.
Ultracapacitors’ ability to release stored energy in a matter of milliseconds and a 99% ultimate efficiency rate with a lifespan of over 20 years and 1 million charge/discharge cycles in a wide temperature range, make them ideal substitutes or complementing devices for batteries.
Margus Linnamäe of UP Invest commented that they had been looking for an investment in energy storage and Skeleton Technologies immediately caught their eye. What set the company apart is the proprietary technology based on carbide-derived carbon which enables nanotuning the material for superior performance.
According to Linnamäe Skeleton Technologies’ competitive advantage is two-fold: higher power and energy density allows to use up to two to four times smaller and lighter cells for the same application; this also means less materials being used in manufacturing which will in perspective translate to cost savings for customers. He added: “Skeleton Technologies’ driven management team and unrivalled technological advantage represents a disruptive opportunity in the energy sector’s most viable market segment that will pass the $1 billion threshold next year.”
Skeleton Technologies plans to harness the growing momentum and use the financing to develop the company’s supply-line and global sales and deliveries. “With a new R&D location in Tartu, Estonia and manufacturing in Dresden, Germany, Skeleton is well positioned to further develop the technology and start meeting demand for high performance energy storage,” said Oliver Ahlberg, the COO of the company.
This is the second cleantech startup with potentially a ton of promise that is located in Dresden, which is just a short trip away from me on a high-speed rail line. Looks like I need to make a trip over there and learn more about these companies and their potentially groundbreaking technologies.
Anyone with more knowledge and experience with ultracapacitors want to chime in here and let me know if you see any yellow, red, or big green flags?