Tesla co-founder and board member JB Straubel started the electric vehicle battery recycling company Redwood Materials in 2017. Now, as the EV industry continues to expand, the recycling company has raised over $1 billion in a new funding round, officially pushing Redwood past a $5 billion valuation.
Straubel’s Redwood Materials raised over $1 billion in a recent funding round, as reported this week by Forbes. The company performs large-scale recycling for lithium materials, then turns that material into anode and cathode materials to be reused in EV batteries. The news comes after Redwood raised roughly $2 billion since 2019, and after it became eligible for a $2 billion low-interest federal loan. Together, this funding puts the valuation of the battery recycling company above $5 billion.
“There’s a lot of capital and a lot of projects announced and under construction in (battery) cell manufacturing—over 800 gigawatt-hours per year in just the U.S. before the end of this decade,” Straubel said earlier this year in an interview with Forbes.
Part of Redwood’s goal as a company is to help bring EV battery production to the U.S., while reusing crucial materials such as lithium, graphite, copper, cobalt, and other mined materials. Currently, these materials are largely produced in China, South Korea, and Japan.
The Series D funding round was co-led in part by the firms Goldman Sachs, Capricorn, and T. Rowe Price. Though, funding also came from new investors, including the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) and the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund. As the EV industry continues to expand, there will be an increasing need for reusing materials and bolstering the U.S. supply chain, which Straubel says currently has a major gap.
“Business-strategy-wise, there’s a gap and a problem in the supply chain,” Straubel added. “It may not be the sexiest part of the whole (EV) realm to invest in but I think it’s urgent and may become more of a bottleneck. So we’re very focused there.”
Redwood Materials has a production facility near Tesla’s Gigafactory Nevada in Sparks, Nevada. Currently, it produces a copper foil that it shares with fellow Tesla partner Panasonic. Additionally, Redwood is looking to build a $3.5 billion facility outside of Charleston, South Carolina, which is expected to use recycled materials to supply anode and cathode materials to the Southeast region of the U.S.
Prior to starting Redwood, Straubel served as the Chief Technical Officer at Tesla and was one of the automaker’s original founders. He was also elected to Tesla’s Board of Directors in a shareholder’s meeting in May.
Article courtesy of EVANNEX.
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