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India-based lithium-ion battery recycling startup BatX Energies raised $1.6 million in a seed funding round led by JITO Angel Network.
The round saw participation from existing investors such as Rohit Chanana of Sarcha Advisors and Anmol Jaggi from BluSmart Electric. Mankind Pharma’s Kamaljyot Investments and Haldiram’s Family Offices also participated in the seed funding round.
BatX Energies will utilize the fund to establish a commercial-scale rare earth battery-materials extraction plant integrated with artificial intelligence (AI). BatX will start specific material extraction via their proprietary chemical process at their recycling unit, which is already producing black mass — a mixture of battery anode and cathode materials.
BatX Energies said it has developed a proprietary zero-waste – zero-emission technology to extract critical rare earth metals like lithium, cobalt, nickel, and manganese from scrap lithium-ion batteries. These critical materials are the key drivers of global electric mobility.
“With this investment, we plan to fill the demand and supply gap of lithium, cobalt, nickel, and manganese in the EV industry reducing carbon emissions, for which we are constantly enhancing our technology and processes to treat all kinds of lithium batteries circulated in the global market,” added Vikrant Singh, Co-Founder, and CTO of BatX Energies.
The investment will also help BatX to expand its footprints in the Indian and International markets.
With a focus on investment towards advanced R&D for producing battery-grade materials, scaling up their capacity, and setting up micro facilities across the country, the company aims to source and process locally. It also plans to increase job opportunities and a skilled workforce in the electronic waste management sector.
BatX Energies is in talks with various global agencies to expand their operations and provide end-to-end service for preserving these rare earth materials, which are otherwise mined with exhaustive efforts and stress-generating carbon emissions on the planet.
The company claims it is on a mission to recycle approximately one billion lithium-ion cells in the next three years, significantly cutting carbon footprints and producing sustainable battery materials for fresh batteries.
Lithium rates have surged by over seven times since May last year, creating challenges for the global electric vehicle battery supply chain. The International Energy Agency recently said cobalt and nickel prices more than doubled from March 2021 to May 2022, stressing the supply chain as battery demand increased. Russia supplied 20% of high purity nickel to battery manufacturers globally, and its invasion of Ukraine fuelled metal prices. Russia is also the world’s largest battery-grade (Class-1) nickel producer.
With the increase in demand for round-the-clock energy supply and storage, the battery storage sector has seen considerable investments. Battery storage companies raised $12.9 billion in corporate funding through 26 deals in Q1 2022, a 222% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) increase compared to $4 billion raised in 27 deals in the last quarter, according to Mercom’s Q1 2022 Funding and M&A Report for Storage, Grid and Efficiency.
Arjun Joshi is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, he worked as a technical writer for enterprise resource software companies based in India and abroad. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Psychology, and Optional English from Garden City University, Bangalore. More articles from Arjun Joshi.