Verkor, the French manufacturer of low-carbon batteries has secured over €2 billion in a Series C funding round. The capital, comprised of a minimum of €850 million, a €500 million loan from the EIB, and French government subsidies totaling approximately €650 million, will be used to finance the launch of a Dunkirk-based gigafactory.
Leading energy transition investor Macquarie Asset Management led the round and with Crédit Agricole Assurances and the Fonds Stratégique de Participations (FSP), operated by ISALT, as well as PULSE, the CMA CGM Energy Fund, Meridiam, Renault Group, EIT InnoEnergy, Bpifrance, Sibanye-Stillwater, and Airbridge Investments participating.
“Since 2017 we have been leading a proactive policy to launch an industrial reconquest everywhere in our territories. The results of this policy are conclusive: we have created new jobs and enhanced the attractiveness of our country. This new, historic fundraising for French Tech, with the support of France 2030 resources, is a bold sign of our ambition for reindustrialisation. It also demonstrates the full coherence of our innovation policy at national and European level, with the support of everyone, investors, large companies and local territories. You are exemplary, and I congratulate you!” - Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic
Located in the Port of Dunkirk, Verkor’s gigafactory is expected to have an initial production capacity of 16 GWh/year, going live by 2025. In July of 2021, when Verkor announced a €100 million raise, the company quoted an output of more than 50GWh/year by 2030.
According to the Verkor, the initiative is expected to generate approximately 1,200 direct and 3,000 indirect jobs.
Announced in conjunction with the deal, Verkor has signed a long-term commercial partnership with Renault Group, indicating that France wants to take the lead when it comes to supplying the European automotive industry, which in recent days has triggered a trade war with Chinese competitors, with low-carbon batteries, as well as play a crucial role in supporting European sovereignty in both sustainable electric mobility and energy storage.
On the announcement, Verkor CEO Benoit Lemaignan comments:
“We are very proud to secure more than €2 billion to concretise our ambition. Together we’ll bring to life a high performance gigafactory, accelerating a responsible energy transition and transport decarbonisation This global financing solidifies our long- term perspectives and with the renewed commitment of our existing partners, we are now on track to becoming one of the leading European battery manufacturers.”
Including this round, Verkor has raised over €3 billion since July of 2021 and in addition to today’s announced investors, is backed by Groupe IDEC, BpiFrance, Demeter, Plastic Omnium, Capgemini, Tokai Cobex, EIT InnoEnergy, Schneider Electric, and Arkema.
Lead image: The Verkor team at its Grenoble-based innovation centre. Photo: Uncredited