Quino Energy, a start-up commercialising a water-based organic flow battery technology licensed from Harvard University, announced that it has closed an additional US$1.25 million of funding to augment its recent Series Seed raise of US$3.3 million led by ANRI, one of the most active seed and early stage VC firms in Japan. This Series Seed Expansion brings the total raised in the investment round to $4.55M. This funding augments $1.0M previously raised in pre-seed funding and US$4.6 million awarded to the company in a non-dilutive grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The funding group includes new investors Energy Revolution Ventures and Doral Energy Tech Ventures, while TechEnergy Ventures increased the size of their earlier investment. They join ANRI, TechEnergy Ventures, and another confidential strategic investor as major Series Seed investors.
“Quino Energy has developed a revolutionary battery that will shape the future of grid-scale energy storage. We are incredibly impressed with Eugene Beh and his team’s technology, which delivers significant improvements in battery cost, lifetime, and safety,” says Peter Robson, Managing Director of Energy Revolution Ventures. “We believe Quino will play a vital role in the new Age of Electrochemical Power and are excited to support Eugene and his team on their journey.”
“At Doral, we align closely with Quino’s mission of developing a cheap, clean, and efficient flow battery, relying on affordable organic materials,” adds Guy Yavin, Investment Director at Doral Energy Tech Ventures. “The shortage of precious minerals and metals has held back the scale-up of new battery technologies and deep adoption of storage technologies to be embedded within renewable energy projects. Quino’s multi-hour battery has the potential to increase the reliance on renewable energy electricity, and we are looking forward to supporting the team in this venture.”
The new funding will augment Quino Energy’s push to further scale and demonstrate its in situ, zero-waste battery electrolyte production process that turns dyestuff chemicals made from coal tar into high-performance, long lifetime battery reactants using the flow battery system itself as the chemical reactor. Demonstrations are envisioned at commercially relevant scales at external sites in addition to an onsite microgrid at the company’s lab in San Leandro, California. Formed by combining a commercial rooftop solar system with one of the company’s prototypes, the onsite microgrid will enable Quino Energy to move its office operations off-grid while simultaneously collecting real-world field testing data.
“Our technology enables a 100% domestic supply chain without any reliance on critical minerals, saves jobs by developing a major new use for coal that doesn’t involve burning it, and accelerates the decarbonisation of our economy all at once,” explains Eugene Beh, co-founder/CEO of Quino Energy.
“This investment is a strong mandate to make rapid progress on commercialising organic flow battery systems that manufacture their own active materials through our process. We think that we can rapidly bring down the cost of mid-duration (8-40 hour) battery storage by leveraging existing supply chains of battery hardware. We’re grateful to our investors and the Department of Energy for sharing and supporting our vision for the future of grid energy storage.”