Milan's Sinergy Flow just closed a €1.8 million seed raise to accelerate the path toward commercialising its grid flow energy battery concept.
The round was led by French-Italian venture capital firm 360 Capital's fund Poli 360, a partnership with Milan's technical university Politecnico di Milano.
Energy transition-focused fund A+360 also led the round with participation from Tech4Planet, a sustainability-themed initiative tied to Italian investment bank CDP's tech transfer and venture capital unit.
It is hoped Sinergy Flow's flow batteries — designed for energy grids, and supposedly with enough energy density for 20 hours usage — will help grid operators bring more renewable power into the mix, helping them tackle greenhouse emissions.
That's mainly because wind and solar power plants are prone to dropping out when their powder (gusts or sunshine) runs dry.
The upshot is that to get the most from its renewables capacity, Europe needs far greater energy storage.
Sinergy Flow's deep tech concept aims to deliver sustainable, high-efficiency flow batteries for power grids, at lower cost than competitors.
To do so, it has worked out how to use "inexpensive and abundant" materials, sulphur for instance, or waste residues from petrochemical plants.
Scientists have long hoped sulphur's qualities could lead to cheaper energy storage and supplant lithium-ion for use in flow batteries, but the problem is they don't really charge as well and this has scuppered the commercialisation of some sulphur-based products.
Following the €1.8 million raise Sinergy Flow is confident its batteries will reach mass production, "in coming years" though and with no firm schedule yet. It will start by building up the team, hopefully giving a lift to its R&D programme, which will be critical to its success.
Alessandra Accogli, CEO and founder of Sinergy Flow, said: "The energy transition is one of the most important challenges the humankind has ever faced, and we strongly believe that our long-duration, low-cost, sustainable energy storage technology will make it possible."