One of the keys to sleeker, thinner and more powerful gadgets will be thin film batteries, which are batteries that basically have the power of standard lithium ion cells, but can be made in moldable shapes. This week one of the startups looking to deliver the next-generation of these thin film batteries, Infinite Power Solutions, filed to raise nearly $20 million from investors, and disclosed that it has already raised $7.35 million of that round.
The problem with thin film batteries has long been price. Manufacturers have to get the cost of the batteries low enough to be able to compete with coin-cell batteries, the circular batteries often used in watches, according to a report from research firm Frost & Sullivan.
But Infinite Power, founded in 2001, says it has already built out its first factory in Littleton, Colorado to produce its thin film batteries — dubbed the Micro-Energy Cell (MEC) — and has been selling its batteries to developers of wireless sensor, RFID tags, medical devices, automotive and military products. The company licenses its thin film technology from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Partnership deals will clearly be the key to success for Infinite Power. On that note the company has signed an agreement to supply its batteries for products that Lockheed Martin is developing for military and civil applications, and has also signed a deal with Arrow Electronics.
Infinite Power isn’t the only thin film battery startup, and competitors include Planar Energy and Cymbet Corp. But Infinite says its ultra-thin rechargeable batteries deliver higher power than its competitors’ and also last longer, have longer shelf lives and can be recharged more times. The company has said its batteries can be recharged more than 60,000 times and made as thin as 15 microns.
Infinite Power previously raised money from D.E. Shaw Ventures, Polaris Ventures, Core Capital Partners, Applied Materials’ venture arm Applied Ventures and In-Q-Tel.
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