Startup News: EV battery startups Redwood Materials and Group14 Technologies are expanding

As sales of electric vehicles rise across the world, startups that produce the battery components that power these vehicles may stand to benefit. Two of these companies, Redwood Materials and Group14 Technologies, have made headlines in the past week tied to their expansion efforts.

Redwood Materials, a Carson City, Nevada-based battery materials and recycling company, has announced a new partnership with Volkswagen of America. The partnership will allow Redwood Materials to collect more end-of-life batteries from consumer electronics and strip out valuable materials that can be used to make EV batteries.

According to an article in Techcrunch describing the initiative, Redwood Materials says that its technology can recover over 95% of the critical materials found in batteries (like nickel, cobalt, lithium and copper) and then manufacture these materials into battery components that are supplied to U.S. battery manufacturers for new electric vehicles and other energy products. The company, which was founded in 2017 by Tesla co-founder JB Straubel, was valued at $4.06 billion as of July 2021.

And Group14 Technologies, a manufacturer and supplier of advanced silicon battery technology, announced that it’s planning to construct its second commercial-scale U.S. Battery Active Materials (BAM-2) factory. The one-million-square-foot facility in southeastern Washington state will be home to the world's largest factory of advanced silicon battery materials. Its goal will be to produce EV programs that meet global decarbonization targets.

Group14 Technologies’ second factory will join its first factory in Woodinville, Wash. in manufacturing commercial quantities of SCC55™, its advanced silicon battery technology that delivers higher energy density and charge rates than traditional lithium-ion batteries for applications such as EVs. The company, which was founded in 2015, was last valued at $2.89 billion in May 2022.

Grocery App Instacart Raises its Valuation

Meanwhile, Instacart, a nationwide food delivery company, is bucking the trend of tech-oriented startups that are lowering their valuations in the midst of rising interest rates and economic headwinds.

Instacart, which is headquartered in San Francisco, raised its internal stock price by 18% in late February compared with December, according to tech-news site The Information, which cited a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

The article in Reuters discussing The Information’s reporting said that Instacart's improvement reflects financial results in the last months of December, January and February, as well as the stock performance of similar publicly traded tech companies. Reportedly the new price of stock issued to employees implies a valuation of about $12 billion.

Marketing Data Firm Klaviyo Has Plans to Go Public  

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Boston-based Klaviyo is reportedly making plans to go public, according to people familiar with the matter.

Klaviyo, which was valued at $9.5 billion in a funding round in 2021, has selected Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to be lead underwriter for the listing, which could take place as early as September, sources told the Journal. 

Should the company manage to make its public debut on that schedule, it would be one of the first big initial public offerings of 2023. Klaviyo, which was founded in 2012, stores and manages customer data for business-to-consumer brands.

About the Author

John Kimelman is a veteran journalist who has worked at Barron’s and CNBC covering such topics as investing and commercial banking. Mr. Kimelman has received compensation from Forge Global, Inc. for authoring this article. Read more from John.

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