Sustrendlab, a Chilean firm specialising in research and development of innovative materials based on industrial waste, plans to raise USD 5m through a minority stake sale to speed up its growth in the niche for lithium-ion batteries, CEO Bernardita Diaz said.
Lithium Ion Batteries from rCB
Valparaiso-based Sustrendlab plans to kick-start its fundraising strategy in January but has already been approached by Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm global accelerator Plug and Play as well as a few Latin American VC firms, Diaz said.
The company would like to close a deal in early 2022 and is receptive to overtures from VC firms with a track record in investing in players in the technology and electromobility industries, the CEO said.
Sustrendlab, which has developed a technology that turns recycled Carbon Black into graphite, plans to use the fresh capital to set up a new R&D lab to produce lithium-ion batteries and scale up its operations. Proceeds will also be used to offer its services to clients in Mexico and the US, Diaz noted.
The majority of lithium-ion batteries use graphite powder as an anode material, but Sustrendlab plans to launch a line of lithium-ion batteries powered by reusable graphite in the next couple of months.
The global lithium-ion battery market is estimated to grow to USD 94.4bn by 2025 from USD 44.2bn in 2020, according to market research firm Markets and Markets.
Sustrendlab saw its undisclosed revenue increase by 200% in 2020 and projects a similar growth for 2021, Diaz said. It has funded its growth with internal resources and non-repayable loans from the Chilean Economic Development Agency (CORFO), she added.
The company’s rapid expansion has been mostly driven by Chile’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) law, which was enacted in 2016 and, among other measures, determines that 90% of the country’s conventional tyres must be recycled by 2030, the CEO pointed.
Its customer base includes tire dealers like Vernon, British Columbia-based Kal Tire, mining services provider like Bailac, and global mining companies like UK-based Anglo American, Diaz said.