Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund, valued at $1 billion, has invested in Group14 Technologies, a battery manufacturing startup that is trying to significantly improve the power and charging time of electric vehicles.
The startup is receiving $214 million from investors – just a fraction of the billions in private and government cash earmarked for creating better batteries that are essential for electric vehicles and renewable energy, company officials said. Other investors include Oman’s sovereign wealth fund and the climate fund backed by private equity firm Lightrock. Microsoft declined to disclose the size of its investment.
Group14 recently received a $100 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy through last year’s Infrastructure Act. Earlier this year, it raised $400 million from investors including Porsche, Riverstone Holdings and a joint venture between BlackRock and Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings. The latest funding round values Group14 at more than $3 billion.
“The industry realizes this is happening and can either participate or watch it happen without it.”
Group14 CEO Rick Lubbe said in an interview.
Many companies and investors are putting money into the sector and hoping to take advantage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which tied tax breaks for electric vehicles to how much of the materials come from local sources or trading partners.
Brandon Middaugh, director of Microsoft’s climate fund, said the company looked at about 30-40 investments in the sector before putting money into Group14.