Sila Nanotechnologies builds out leadership team and secures $45M financing
Solar Industry Veteran Bill Mulligan and Former Tesla Battery Director Kurt Kelty Join as Company Focuses on Ramping up Production Volume
ALAMEDA, Calif., November 4, 2019 – Sila Nanotechnologies (“Sila Nano”), a next-generation battery materials company, announced today that it has expanded its leadership team. Former SunPower Executive Vice President of Global Operations Bill Mulligan joins the company as its first Chief Operating Officer, and longtime Panasonic and Tesla executive Kurt Kelty, who brings years of expertise in battery materials and manufacturing, joins as the Vice President of Automotive. The company has also secured an additional $45 million in investment from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) to bring the first batteries powered by Sila Nano to market, rounding out the company’s total funding to $340 million.
Sila Nano is a leader in battery storage innovation, pioneering novel manufacturing methods to create a drop-in silicon-based anode that entirely replaces graphite in a lithium-ion battery without requiring changes to the battery manufacturing process. Sila Nano’s breakthrough chemistry demonstrates a dramatic 20 percent improvement today, with the potential to reach 40 percent improvement over state of the art traditional li-ion – an innovative solution to traditional li-ion battery chemistry which has delivered incremental improvements for the past decade.
“As we bring our product to market, executives like Bill and Kurt bring critical expertise in the automotive and energy manufacturing sectors and will further propel Sila Nano’s growth and momentum,” said Sila Nanotechnologies CEO Gene Berdichevsky. “We’re rounding out our leadership team as we accelerate our path to smarter, longer-lasting portable electronics and lower-cost, longer-range electric vehicles.”
Longtime solar industry veteran Bill Mulligan joins the company’s leadership team as Sila Nano continues to prioritize strategic commercialization initiatives as the company looks to serve energy storage needs across industries. Mulligan brings a strong operations and R&D background having led SunPower’s R&D efforts from its time as a 40-person company to when it reached more than $2 billion in revenue.
“In my experience, the most successful and inspiring companies are solving the most technically challenging problems, just beyond the edge of what people believe is solvable,” said Bill Mulligan. “I’m honored to join a team that is tackling the challenge of battery chemistry head-on, and I truly believe Sila Nano’s products will have far-reaching applications to enable lower cost, large-scale energy storage.”
Joining Mulligan is respected battery tech expert and advisory board member Kurt Kelty to lead the company’s energy storage efforts in the automotive sector. After two years as SVP of Operations at Plenty, Kelty joins Sila Nano and brings deep industry knowledge and experience from his decade-long tenures as the director of business development at Panasonic and senior director of battery technology at Tesla. At Tesla, Kelty developed and led strategic relationships with battery cell makers in launching each of the Tesla vehicles, from the Roadster through the Model 3. The strategic hires signal the company’s commitment to fleet electrification and continued investment in scaling up for automotive deployment.
“As part of Sila Nano’s advisory board, I’ve seen the results of the breakthrough battery chemistry firsthand and I could not pass up the opportunity to take it a step further and lead the company’s automotive partnership efforts,” said Kurt Kelty. “I’m excited to return to my battery tech roots with a company like Sila Nano, which has developed a commercially viable, scalable solution for lithium-ion batteries.”
Earlier this year, Sila Nano secured $170 million in Series E funding led by Daimler AG. With $45 million in additional equity financing secured from CPPIB, Sila Nano will continue to ramp up production volume and plans to supply its first commercial customers in consumer electronics within the next year. Sila Nano will continue to scale up production in the next few years with plans to go to market with battery partner Amperex Technology Limited (ATL) and automotive partners BMW and Daimler.
About Sila Nanotechnologies
Sila Nano develops materials that set a new standard for batteries. Through new battery materials chemistry, Sila Nano enables lighter, safer, higher energy density batteries for mass adoption of electric vehicles, smarter, longer-lasting portable electronics, and broader use of renewable power sources. Founded in 2011 by Silicon Valley battery engineers and a Georgia Tech Professor of Materials Science, Sila Nano is headquartered in Alameda, California. Company investors include 8VC, Amperex Technology Limited, Bessemer Venture Partners, Chengwei Capital, CPPIB, Daimler, In-Q-Tel, Matrix Partners, Next47, Samsung, and Sutter Hill Ventures. For more information, visit www.silanano.com.