(CHAMPAIGN, IL) May 25, 2022 – Electric vehicle solid-state battery technology pioneer Natrion today announced it has secured $2 million in seed funding from high-profile investors, including Mark Cuban of Shark Tank, as it progresses towards prototyping production capabilities. The oversubscribed round was led by Chicago-based TechNexus Venture Collaborative with participation from Tamarack Global, Mark Cuban, Illinois Ventures, and other private investors.
“Natrion’s streamlined R&D approach and business model are what really differentiate the company in the battery market. They’ve already secured major commercial traction in the automotive space and we’re looking forward to what they achieve next,” said Cuban.
Natrion has developed a patented and proprietary technology called the Lithium Solid Ionic Composite (LISIC). While conventional lithium batteries use highly flammable, low-performance liquid electrolyte components, LISIC is a first-of-its-kind polymer-ceramic hybrid solid electrolyte that drops into existing battery manufacturing lines to replace liquids. LISIC is thus able to improve charging speeds, driving range, longevity, and safety for electric vehicles, and has the potential to significantly benefit an array of other transportation and defense applications.
Founded in 2018, Natrion has received multiple contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense to further develop its products. The company is also currently in conversations with additional prospective partners across the transportation sector.
“The Natrion technology enables a significant increase in the thermal threshold of the battery, thus reducing fire risk and improving battery durability and cycle life,” said Terry Howerton, Co-Founder and CEO of TechNexus Venture Collaborative. “We are excited about the innovation within solid-state electrolytes and view Natrion as a core enabling technology for electrification with the potential to improve the overall functionality of electric vehicles.”
This seed round marked the company’s first major private capital raise. Prior to this, Natrion secured significant funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, including a $200,000 Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) contract from the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division.
With the capital raised, Natrion intends to build out in-house pouch cell prototyping capabilities at its R&D centers in Champaign, IL and Binghamton, NY, which it believes will allow it to rapid-prototype and validate LISIC in full-size cells that mimic those that are used in electric vehicle battery packs. Qualifying LISIC in pouch cells will be Natrion’s first step along the path of scale up and, if successful, will help position the company to build out a pilot production line as early as 2023.
“This fundraise is a huge milestone for us,” said Natrion co-founder and CEO Alex Kosyakov. “Having the backing of investors of this caliber has positioned us well to continue to lead the pack and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Over the years we’ve assembled a stellar core research and development team that will now have all the necessary resources to make Natrion’s vision a reality.”
Natrion is a battery research and development startup headquartered in Binghamton, New York with operations in Champaign, Illinois. It was started out of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Indiana University in 2018 by founders Alex Kosyakov and Thomas Rouffiac. Natrion develops solid-state lithium-ion and sodium-ion battery components for electric mobility and defense applications.