In this August 30, 2023 edition of Supply Chain Matters This Week in Supply Chain Technology we provide capsule highlights of investments announced by supply chain management focused tech providers.
In this addition, we highlight announcements involving Redwood Materials and ConverSight.
Redwood Materials $1 Billion Series D Funding
Battery and EV materials startup Redwood Materials has announced the completion of more than $1 billion in Series D shares.
Redwood Materials was founded by former Tesla Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel in 2017. He later resigned from the EV automaker in 2019 to assume leadership of the start-up. Redwood has indicated a commitment to solving the ability to source battery anode and cathode components in the United States and producing them from an increasing amount of recycled content. The company converts end-of-life electric batteries into renewed raw materials and components.
According to the announcement, the latest founding round was co-led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Capricorn’s Technology Impact Fund, and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates. Former investment partners reportedly also participated.
The company established a partnership with Panasonic Energy of North America in 2019 and since then, battery cell production scrap coming from the Tesla Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada (in which Panasonic is the battery cell manufacturer) has been recycled by Redwood.
Panasonic reportedly will be the first long-term buyer of Redwood’s anode copper foil, an essential component in lithium-ion battery production. With both anode and cathode components created from recycled materials, Redwood and Panasonic aim to establish U.S. based closed-loop cell production.
In February of last year, the tech provider announced plans for a $3.5 billion Battery Materials Campus to be located in the heart of the “Battery Belt,” just outside of Charleston, South Carolina. The company will reportedly recycle, refine and manufacture anode and cathode components within this manufacturing campus amounting to 100 GWh of cathode and anode components per year –enough to power more than one million EVs.
In February of this year. Redwood received conditional commitment for a $2 billion loan from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Program Office. The company will draw upon this milestone-based financing in tranches that will reportedly support phased construction and expansion of an initial battery materials campus.
According to the latest announcement, this tech provider will utilize added funding to continue building out capacity, expanding the domestic battery supply chain and allowing customers to purchase battery materials made in the U.S. for the first time.
Redwood has now raised nearly $2 billion of equity capital along with the additional $2B loan commitment from the Department of Energy.
In a related update, last week Supply Chain Matters highlighted reports that Tesla’s Powertrain Engineering Vice President Colin Campbell, a 17 year veteran, would be joining Redwood Materials to serve as that company’s Chief Technology Officer.
ConverSight Announces Series A Funding
ConverSight, which describes itself as a unified decision intelligence technology provider has announced the completion of a $9 million Series A funding round.
According to the announcement, this start-up aims to develop breakthroughs in Generative AI, Large Language Models and Business Analytics.
The round was led by Surface Ventures with participation from Techstars, Augment Ventures, Elevate Ventures and existing investors.
Proceeds from this investment are expected to fund the company’s go-to-market activities, added development and staffing.
Founded in 2017, this start-up reportedly humanizes the interaction between computer systems and business users. The artificial intelligence and analytics-based platform uncovers actionable business insights for enterprises through natural language conversations, and empowers users to engage with systems using simple dialogue. The company’s technology is based on Natural Language Conversational Interaction, Generative AI and a patented knowledge graph.
Since its last round of fundraising in 2022, ConverSight has reportedly released major product updates including a new state of the art UI, expansions to its data science capabilities including an AI workbench, marketplace and GPT-powered modeling capabilities. The company has also been awarded SOC 1 Type 1 and 2 and SOC 2 Type 1 and 2 certifications.
Among the company’s Board members is Toby Brzoznowski who previously was the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of supply chain analytics planning suite technology provider Llamasoft. That company was acquired by Coupa Software in September of 2020.
This concludes our latest edition of Supply Chain Matters This Week in Supply Chain Tech. Technology providers seeking to be included in this column should send us an email for consideration. (supplychaininfo <at> theferrarigroup.net)
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