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Posted: August 17, 2010
24M Technologies Launches New Venture to Commercialize Next-Generation Energy Storage
(Nanowerk News) 24M Technologies launched today as a new venture focused on commercializing next-generation energy storage systems based on technology out of A123 Systems, a developer and manufacturer of advanced Nanophosphate lithium ion batteries and systems, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The company also announced that ARPA-E has awarded a total of $6M to a collaborative effort between 24M, MIT and Rutgers to further develop its technology, on top of previous funding to MIT from DARPA. 24M Technologies has secured $10M in Series A financing from Charles River Ventures and North Bridge Venture Partners to target high energy density applications at radically lower cost than previously attainable.
"We are thrilled to have the backing and validation of leaders in industry, finance, government and academia in the pursuit of game-changing energy storage solutions," said Throop Wilder, president of 24M. "The U.S. needs an all-hands-on-deck approach to compete in global markets that are heavily subsidized by foreign governments. Our team has a proven track record of innovation and commercial success in energy and technology fields. By harnessing this entrepreneurial skill set, we will develop safe, reliable, scalable and ultra-low cost energy storage systems."
24M will commercialize a novel technology that originated with A123 and was further developed at MIT. This technological advance combines attributes of rechargeable batteries, fuel cells, and flow batteries to enable scalable cost-effective, high-energy storage systems for emerging markets, including transportation and the electric grid. While A123 will have an equity stake in 24M and a seat on the company's board of directors, 24M remains a separate entity. A123 expects to work closely with 24M to support its development and commercialization efforts, while continuing to focus on delivering its core solutions to customers and maintaining its culture of innovation.
"This agreement with 24M highlights A123 Systems' substantial R&D pipeline and exemplifies our ongoing commitment to cultivating disruptive, innovative technologies while remaining focused on growing our grid and transportation businesses," said David Vieau, president and CEO of A123 Systems. "We believe that 24M's technology has the potential to reduce energy storage costs for transportation and grid applications, and we look forward to helping the company as it leverages our research innovations for the development of commercially viable systems."
24M is backed by two leading venture capital firms, Charles River Ventures and North Bridge Venture Partners that are providing $10 million in Series A financing. Both firms have selectively invested in energy companies over the last ten years with successful outcomes. "This is a very exciting project with huge potential to disrupt the existing energy storage market. We are thrilled to support 24M Technologies in this great endeavor," said Izhar Armony, general partner at Charles River.
"This is a unique founding team pursuing a disruptive technology," said Jeffrey McCarthy, general partner at North Bridge. "Dr. Yet-Ming Chiang, the lead inventor of the technology, is a renowned scientist and energy entrepreneur whom we have backed before. Yet, of course, continues to remain fully engaged with A123 in his capacity as a co-founder. Teaming with Throop Wilder, another proven entrepreneur with multiple technical and business successes whom we have also backed before, and Dr. W. Craig Carter, a world-renowned materials scientist, they have created exactly the kind of team required for winning outcomes."
24M has simultaneously received an award from the Department of Energy under the ARPA-E program to develop its revolutionary technology. Working in conjunction with MIT and Rutgers, who also received DARPA funding at an earlier stage of the project, the company will focus its efforts on commercializing its breakthrough technology.
About Charles River Ventures
Founded in 1970, Charles River Ventures is one of the nation's oldest and most successful early-stage venture capital firms with approximately $2.1 billion under management. CRV is dedicated to helping exceptional entrepreneurs turn their ideas into the next category leaders in high growth technology and media sectors. Over the past 20 years, CRV funds have been ranked among the industry's top performers. CRV has offices in Boston, MA and Menlo Park, CA. For additional information, please visit www.crv.com.
About North Bridge Venture Partners
North Bridge Venture Partners is an active, early-stage venture capital firm based in Boston, Massachusetts and San Mateo, California, founded in 1994. With approximately $3.1 billion under management, North Bridge Venture Partners focuses on investments in communications, software, new media, healthcare, and materials technology. Working closely with entrepreneurs, North Bridge adds value by providing strategic guidance, specific industry knowledge, team-building skills and an in-depth understanding of both private and public financings. For more information, please visit www.northbridge.com.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E), an organization within the U.S. Department of Energy, is the country's first organization dedicated exclusively to supporting high risk, high reward energy research projects. ARPA-E's mission is to support nimble and inventive technological approaches that can deliver transformative new solutions for climate change and energy security while advancing America's technology leadership. To learn more, please visit www.arpa-e.energy.gov.