Volkswagen-backed QuantumScape to go public through SPAC to carry solid-state batteries to EVs – TechCrunch

QuantumScape, the solid-state battery firm backed by Volkswagen Group, has agreed to merge with a particular objective acquisition firm Kensington Capital Acquisition Corp. because it goals to boost the capital it must commercialize solid-state batteries for electrical automobiles.

The merger will give QuantumScape a post-deal market valuation of $3.3 billion.

QuantumScape stated it was capable of increase greater than $700 million by means of the enterprise mixture, a determine that features $500 million in non-public funding in public fairness, or PIPE. The increase was anchored by institutional traders together with Constancy Administration & Analysis Firm and Janus Transaction. The mixed firm might be named QuantumScape and is anticipated to stay listed on the NYSE and commerce underneath the brand new ticker image “QS.”

The merger and related PIPE transaction will fund the corporate’s plans to first manufacturing, in keeping with QuantumScape founder and CEO Jagdeep Singh. Quite a few automakers have pursued solid-state batteries, however challenges akin to value have hampered efforts to industrial the expertise.

Electrical automobiles on the highway at the moment are outfitted with lithium-ion batteries. A battery accommodates two electrodes. There’s an anode (unfavorable) on one facet and a cathode (constructive) on the opposite. An electrolyte sits within the center and acts because the courier that strikes ions between the electrodes when charging and discharging. Strong-state batteries use a stable electrolyte and never a liquid or gel-based electrolyte present in lithium-ion batteries.

Builders declare that stable electrolytes have better power density, which interprets into squeezing extra vary out of a smaller and lighter battery. Strong electrolytes are also alleged to be higher at thermal administration, decreasing the chance of fireplace and the reliance on the sorts of cooling programs present in at the moment’s EVs.

Summer season of the SPAC

QuantumScape joins what seems to be a seemingly limitless line of venture-backed firms which have eschewed the normal IPO path and as an alternative opted to go public through a reverse merger with a SPAC, or blank-check firm.  QuantumScape can also be a part of a smaller and notable group of electrical vehicle-related firms which have introduced plans to go public through a SPAC. EV firms Canoo, Fisker Inc., Lordstown Motors and Nikola Corp. have gone public, or introduced plans to, through a SPAC merger this spring and summer season.

In contrast to a number of the firms on this new batch of SPACs, QuantumScape can hardly be known as a startup. The Stanford College spinout has been working for a decade on growing solid-state batteries and designing a scalable manufacturing course of to commercialize its battery expertise for the automotive business.

Volkswagen enterprise

QuantumScape attracted consideration and capital early on from high-profile enterprise companies like Kleiner Perkins and Khosla Ventures. Volkswagen entered the image in 2012. The automaker has invested a complete of $300 million in QuantumScape, together with $200 million this 12 months.

The center of the VW-QuantumScape relationship is a three way partnership, which was introduced in 2018, that goals to speed up the event of solid-state battery expertise after which produce them at industrial scale. The businesses have plans to arrange a pilot plant for the industrial-level manufacturing of the solid-state batteries. Volkswagen stated in June that plans for the pilot manufacturing unit might be “firmed up” someday this 12 months.

QuantumScape’s board can also be loaded with notable traders and specialists within the electrical automobile business, notably former Tesla CTO and Redwood Supplies founder JB Straubel, who known as QuantumScape’s solid-state anode-less design “essentially the most elegant structure I’ve seen for a lithium-based battery system.”

Kensington Chairman and CEO Justin Mirro can even be part of the mixed firm’s board of administrators.

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