Lionano Raises $22 Million to Boost Battery Components

(Bloomberg) -- A startup out of a Cornell University lab called Lionano Inc. raised $22 million to expand production of high-performance cathodes for lithium-ion batteries in cars and electronics.

The Series B funding round was led by Wave Equity Partners LLC, Helios Capital Ventures and NXT Ventures. It will be used to expand annual production capacity to 1,200 tons this year -- enough for at least 13,000 Tesla Inc. cars, according to Alex Yu, co-founder and chief executive officer. The Woburn, Massachusetts-based company was founded in 2013 and raised $9 million in its initial funding round. Additional funding rounds will increase production to 10,000 tons by the end of next year, he said.

“We’ve passed validation by tier-one equipment manufacturers,” Yu said in an interview. “We’re now in commercial production.”

The company’s cathodes are costlier than versions available now with more common materials, but that’s offset by a 20 percent increase in storage capacity and longer lifetimes, Yu said. He declined to identify battery-manufacturer customers or the location of their initial production.

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