Bengaluru-based battery-tech and deep-tech startup Log 9 Materials has raised $8.5 million as part of its ongoing Series A-plus funding round.
Amara Raja Batteries Limited (ARBL), known for its automotive battery brand Amaron, led the round with a $5 million infusion.
Returning investors Exfinity Ventures, Sequoia Capital India's Surge Programme and a clutch of new investors including AC Ventures (SEA Frontier Fund LLP) infused around $3.5 million as part of the current round.
A set of strategic angels too participated in this funding round, including Rajesh Yabaji and Chanakya Hridaya, co-founders of logistics startup Blackbuck; Rajesh Ramaiah, partner, Premji Invest; Desikan Sundarajan, MD, Equinor and Faiz Mayalakkara, director investments, Emirates Investment Authority.
This is the first tranche of the $10-12 million Series A-plus round the company is currently raising, according to a statement.
The fresh funds will be utilised to expand production capacity and business development efforts of Log 9’s ‘rapid charging battery technology’, which due for commercial rollout in October 2021.
Further, these funds will also be utilised to advance the startup’s supercapacitor and aluminum fuel cell-based innovations, the statement added.
Previously, Log 9 Materials had secured approximately $3.5 million in a Series A funding round from Sequoia Surge and Exfinity Venture Partners. The company was one of the (12 startups selected) for Surge’s second cohort.
Akshay Singhal, an IIT Roorkee alumnus, founded the company in 2015 as part of the TIDES incubation centre at the institute.
The company had earlier (raised approximately $460,000 in an extended seed round) from a group of investors including Hemant Luthra, chairman at auto-parts maker Mahindra CIE in July.
In June 2019, the company, which commercialises the use of graphene nanotechnology-based solutions, had created a subsidiary Log 9 Spill Containment which (raised funds from a group of angel investors). The subsidiary focuses on developing solutions for containment and absorption of oil and chemical spills.
“The partnership with ARBL will enable us to propel commercialization at scale of our Rapid Charging Batteries, which in turn shall play a major role in the future in Log 9 eventually becoming the frontrunner and one of the largest Indian players in advanced cell chemistries,” Akshay Singhal, founder & CEO, Log 9 Materials, said.
Amara Raja’s investment is a part of its recently launched 'energy & mobility' strategy, which focuses on entering into new green technologies and solutions. The partnership also makes Amara Raja the primary partner for scaling up the manufacturing operations of Log9's battery and fuel cell technologies.
The startup plans to set up local cell manufacturing for these technologies under the category of the ACC PLI Scheme in the coming years.
Founded in 1985, Amara Raja Batteries is one of the largest manufacturers of industrial and automotive batteries in India.
In May this year, car battery maker Clarios sold a 10% stake in Amara Raja Batteries for about Rs 1,200 crore ($165 million) through an open market deal to to Ghisallo Master Fund, Integrated Core Strategies Asia Pte Ltd and Morgan Stanley Asia Singapore Pte Odi.
“This will mark the first in a series of interesting developments that we plan to execute in the future. In this fast-changing technology landscape, we do not believe in a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach and we are convinced that there will be the scope for interplay of multiple technology solutions for various applications. We believe that Log 9 has made great progress in developing a range of technologies that will prove very promising in emerging mobility applications,” Vikramadithya Gourineni, executive director at ARBL, said.