InoBat Auto, a Bratislava-based R&D and battery production company, has secured €10 million in a round led by IPM Group, an asset manager focused on infrastructure tech, CEZ Group, Wildcat Discovery Technologies and other investors. The Slovakian startup also received €5 million in government funding just three months ago.
The new capital will fund the development of a “first-of-its-kind” R&D centre and 100 MWh production line in Slovakia. InoBat acquired the site in Voderady last month; construction will begin later this year, with the first batteries ready for distribution in 2021. The company is also planning to build a 10 GWh gigafactory with the potential to provide 240,000 electric vehicles with “cutting edge, bespoke batteries” by 2024.
“The governments of Czech Republic and Slovakia announced a partnership in electromobility, and this is one of the projects that fulfils this initiative,” says Pavel Cyrani of CEZ. Both countries rely heavily on the auto industry and are trying to keep up with the shift to e-mobility. Commenting on the round, co-founder and CEO Marian Bocek said, “The need to accelerate the electrification of transport is becoming more urgent, and through this investment InoBat Auto will be able to deliver state-of-the-art, customised batteries to electric vehicle manufacturers as early as next year, something which no other company in Europe can offer.”
Supplying such customised batteries is made possible thanks to a partnership with investor Wildcat Discovery Technologies. The Californian energy company will supply ‘high throughput’ (HTP) R&D technology, which tests multiple variations of battery chemistry and uses AI to select a composition that best suits the auto manufacturer. As a result, customised batteries could be produced cost effectively and at scale.