What do thin-film solar, traffic-management technology and power storage all have in common? They’re all innovations that can help fight climate change, and they’re all getting investments from Battelle Ventures and its affiliate fund, Innovation Valley Partners (IVP). The firms said this morning that they will invest a combined $8 million into three startups: Aldis, Ampulse, and Planar Energy Devices.
Battelle Ventures is a $220 million fund that has already invested in wireless smart-meter startup SmartSynch, and fuel cell material company Superprotonic; IVP is Battelle’s $35 million affiliate fund. Here’s the three deals:
- Aldis, Knoxville, Tenn.: Founded in 2006, Aldis sells an imaging-based traffic control system to cities that can help optimize traffic and thus reduce pollution and emissions. The company’s next-generation product, the “Guardian Eye,” captures 360-degree traffic info. and uses an image processing algorithm to work smartly with the traffic signals. Aldis also sells energy-efficient, sensor-based traffic signal technology. Battelle and IVP have invested $1.9 million in a Series A funding, and plan to invest another nearly $1.9 million if the company meets certain milestones. Tennessee-based fund Meritus Ventures also participated in the investment.
- Ampulse, Knoxville, Tenn.: Ampulse was spun out of Oak Ridge National Laboratory to commercialize the lab’s thin-film solar technology. Battelle and IVP invested more than $1 million in pre-seed funding. The company currently works out of IVP’s office in Knoxville.
- Planar Energy Devices, Orlando, Fla.: Power-storage startup Planar Energy Devices is a spinout of the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The company is working on thin-film lithium battery technology and received $1.3 million in Series A financing, with another possible $2.7 million if the company meets certain milestones.