Rapidly growing Imperial startup About:Energy has raised £1.5m to commercialise its battery design software platform, The Voltt.
Imperial startup About:Energy has closed a seed investment round worth £1.5 million, money it will use to accelerate the commercialisation of The Voltt, a battery design software platform it unveiled in March. The investment will support further product development, completion of a London-based lab for data collection, and expansion of the team.
"Our focus for the next 12 months is to establish About:Energy as a leading battery data and software company, leveraging the power of The Voltt to drive innovation and efficiency in the industry,” says Gavin White, the company’s co-founder and Chief Executive. “This investment will enable us to integrate the latest research from our partnering institutions, creating a comprehensive solution for battery design and optimization."
The investment round included participation from HighSage Ventures, Vireo Ventures, OakNorth Bank chief executive Rishi Khosla, Plug & Play Ventures, and Electric Revolution Ventures.
About:Energy was set up in 2021 by Gavin White from Imperial and Kieran O’Regan from the University of Birmingham, who met as PhD students on the Faraday Institution’s Multi-scale Modelling Project. Their idea was to provide software and data services that would enhance battery development and application in the automotive, aerospace and other sectors.
Stocking The Voltt
Since then, About:Energy has built up a huge store of data about commercially available batteries, and constructed models that can help companies select cells and design systems that optimise their performance. These have now been made available in The Voltt, a battery design software platform that offers industry the tools required to shorten R&D timelines, increase battery performance, reduce development risk, and increase the return on investment of simulation resources.
Importantly, The Voltt offers access to data and models for hundreds of commercially available and bespoke batteries – data that would require substantial engineering expertise and investment to acquire otherwise.“Our vision for The Voltt is to provide industry with all they need to revolutionise battery system design to create better batteries that last longer, cost less and decrease the carbon footprint of battery systems,” says Mr White.
The Voltt was launched in March 2023 at an event held at the Royal Academy of Engineering and attended by an audience of industry professionals, investors, researchers, and policymakers.
“About:Energy has rapidly progressed from company formation in December 2021 and we’re delighted to have brought our technology to market in a short timeframe,” Mr White went on, “Now we’re excited to extend our collaborations with the battery industry and continue developing our software platform to provide the solutions the industry needs.”
Building up battery research
Imperial has substantial interests in battery research, and About:Energy is one of a number of startups created from this activity in recent years. Long-term collaborations with the Faraday Institution and research groups such as Electrochemical Science and Engineering provide an environment in which industry-focused research can flourish and be translated into practice.
About:Energy's success in developing advanced battery technology highlights Imperial's dedication to sustainable energy solutions. Professor Nigel Brandon Dean of the Faculty of Engineering
"Imperial's focus on engineering and entrepreneurship has paved the way for remarkable innovations with the potential to make a significant impact,” says Professor Nigel Brandon, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and a member of About:Energy’s advisory board.
“About:Energy's success in developing advanced battery technology highlights the institution's dedication to sustainable energy solutions and demonstrates the effectiveness of academic-industry partnerships in driving the transition to electrification."
In addition to launching The Voltt, the company has recently announced its participation in a £1m government-funded project as part of the Faraday Battery Challenge, through which it will collaborate with Imperial’s Dr Yatish Patel and commercial electric vehicle manufacturer Arrival to develop models of battery ageing which will be used to improve the operational lifetime of battery cells.
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