Leyden Energy, a developer of consumer electronics batteries that operate at temperatures as high as 60°C, announced today that it has raised $20 million in its second round of funding led by New Enterprise Associates.
The company makes lithium-ion batteries that work in high-heat environments, such as on a laptop that generates a lot of heat when doing a lot of work. The Macbook Pro, for example, heats up quickly when doing video editing or playing video games. The company is also developing large-scale batteries that can hold a lot of power.
“We’re not a 1 megawatt player today, but we will be,” Leyden Energy CEO Aakar Patel told VentureBeat. “We will have similar customers to those that are buying batteries for Macbook Pros in the next two to four months.”
Batteries like those produced by Leyden Energy are useful because they can store electricity generated by non-conventional sources — such as wind turbines or solar panels — and release the electricity gradually. That helps alleviate strain on a power grid that might be overloaded if too many sources of energy feed electricity into the grid all at once. The batteries can also release additional electricity in peak-demand times, such as hot days or in the future when there are thousands of electric car chargers on the grid.
Rather than manufacture the batteries personally, the company has partnered with two original equipment manufacturers to build the batteries. That’s kept costs down for the company, ensuring each of its seven batteries available commercially are not being produced at a loss, Patel said.
“We started with the premise that we would partner, we had our manufacturing partner about a week after we started the company,” he said. “We might move to manufacturing internally, but the market is so positive at this point that joint ventures, partnerships and acquisitions, they happen very quickly.”
The company did not disclose the amount of money it raised in its first round of funding. It will spend the funding on acquiring new engineers and adding a third equipment manufacturer for the batteries, Patel said. Lightspeed Ventures, Sigma Partners and Walden Capital also participated in the round.