Taiwan’s solid-state battery unicorn ProLogium nets nearly $100m

ProLogium FLCB (flexible-type lithium-ceramic battery) Battery. Source: ProLogium Technology

Taiwan-based ProLogium Technology has closed nearly $100 million in a Series D round of financing, speeding up the company’s target to realize the mass production and delivery of solid-state battery packages for electric vehicles (EV) in 2021.

The Series D round was backed by investors including an industry investment platform of China’s automaker FAW Group, and Bank of China Group Investment, the Hong Kong-based investment management unit of Chinese state-owned Bank of China (BOC), said CVCapital in a WeChat post on Wednesday. The Chinese cross-border investment bank served as the exclusive financial adviser of the deal.

Apart from the Series D round, ProLogium is also in the process of raising a Series D+ round, said the company when approached by DealStreetAsia.

The investment comes almost one year after the firm disclosed an initial plan to collect $150 million for the Series D round. The company had expected to reach the first close in the second quarter of 2019.

Established in 2006 by Vincent Yang Sinan, a master’s degree holder graduated from the National Taiwan University, ProLogium is primarily involved in the development and production of solid-state lithium battery cells in consumer electronics like wearable products and other internet of things (IoT) devices.

The 14-year-old company now focuses on delivering solid-state batteries to EV makers. It showcased an EV-use solid-state battery package based on the so-called “Multi Axis BiPolar+ (MAB)” technology, which helps improve the energy density to lift assembly efficiency of batteries, during the CES in Las Vegas in January 2019.

ProLogium claimed that the EV-use battery package, which is scheduled to be mass-produced and delivered by 2021, is half the size of a conventional battery package and 30 per cent lighter under the same electric capacity.

“The new energy vehicle markets in China and worldwide have been growing vigorously, driving up a strong demand for high-performance batteries,” said She Libin, managing director at CVCapital, in the post. “Compared to traditional lithium-ion batteries, solid-state lithium batteries have a distinct safety advantage, as well as significantly higher energy density. They are the future of power batteries.”

Despite these benefits, the current adoption of solid-state batteries in the market is near-zero compared to the widely-used lithium-ion batteries, largely because solid-state battery makers around the world have yet to have the capacity to mass-delivery of their products. Automakers like Japan’s Toyota have drawn timelines to achieve the goal, with most of them setting sights on the year of 2025 and after.

ProLogium has entered into agreements with Chinese EV brands like Tencent-backed NIO, and AIWAYS in 2019. Upon the completion of the new round, it aims to enhance collaboration with FAW Group in speeding up the commercialization of the solid-state battery technology, according to the post.

The Taiwan-based company entered into the unicorn club at a valuation of over $1 billion, according to Hurun Greater China Unicorn Index released in the third quarter of 2018.

SoftBank China Venture Capital (SBCVC) and Shanghai-based private equity firm dGav Capital were investors in its previous rounds.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.