Boston-Power Pulls In $125M, Shifting Focus and Most Operations to China to Get Its Battery Tech into Electric Vehicles
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add hundreds of jobs in China, says Lampe-Onnerud.
Lampe-Onnerud emphasized her intent to get the lithium-ion battery technology to market, particularly in electric vehicles, wherever that happens to take the company. Boston-Power also continues to make money from customers like Hewlett-Packard that are using the battery technology for portable electronics, she says.
She says that the company has set its sights on China since founding, but that it held off a bit to see if it could attract U.S. government stimulus dollars. “I’m also a realist, and we didn’t get stimulus for our company, so we moved our plans back to China,” she says. “It looks to me that the Chinese market is moving first. My number one priority is to make sure we deploy.” This move fulfilled a promise Lampe-Onnerud made back in 2009 when the company was not awarded Department of Energy grants.
Boston-Power also plans to raise a second-tranche of this funding round, says Lampe-Onnerud. Previous investors Gabriel Venture Partners and Venrock Associates were not part of the $125 million deal, which came together “very quickly,” she says, adding that she expects to be “oversubscribed” in future tranches. The company, which raised a $66.4 million Series E financing last summer, has virtually no Massachusetts-headquartered venture investors, says Lampe-Onnerud.
Some might view the Boston-Power shift as another blow to the cleantech industry in Massachusetts, which recently saw Marlboro, MA-based Evergreen Solar file for bankruptcy protection. Lampe-Onnerud says, though, that she’s excited for the opportunity for her company.
“It’s absolutely throwing the company into the dreams of any entrepreneur, which is massive deployment, massive growth,” she says.