Solid-state battery development poses major tech challenges

Solid-state battery development poses major tech challenges

Sakti3’s shift in fortune mirrors solid-state battery challengesThe solid-state Lithium-ion battery startup Sakti3 received a $7 million investment from Beringea through the InvestMichigan! Growth Capital fund. And President Obama thought the technology promising enough that he invited the innovator behind it, Sakti3’s Ann Marie Sastry, to the White House’s first Demo Day this summer.

And, legendary Silicon Valley VC Vinod Khosla was so impressed, his firm, Khosla Ventures, led the company’s series B funding round to the tune of $2 million. Between these and several earlier placements, the Ann Arbor company received $35 million in funding. Then in March, British electronics giant Dyson Ltd. plunked down $15 million, bringing Sakti3’s total capitalization to $50 million.

But in a surprising development, Dyson Ltd. recently announced plans to acquire Sakti3 for $90 million saying it would use Sakti3’s technology for home appliances, rather than for the electric grid or vehicle applications in Sakti3’s original product roadmap. The purchase price is but a fraction of the billion dollar IPO value its long list of well-heeled backers had originally envisioned.

Read why this sudden turn of fortune may reflect the enormous challenges ahead for the solid-state battery industry.

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