Russians, Bill Gates and global partners announce $35m sodium-ion investment

Russians, Bill Gates and global partners announce $35m sodium-ion investmentRussian investment fund Bright Capital, Bill Gates and other international investors have pumped $35m in a US-based developer of next gen sodium-ion batteries for alternative energy.

Russian investment fund Bright Capital, Bill Gates and other international investors have pumped $35m in Aquion Energy, a US-based developer of next gen storage batteries, Russian business daily Vedomosti reports. The investor consortium reportedly also includes a group of other global venture funds, such as Gentry Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Foundation Capital and Advanced Technology Ventures. This is a second round of funding for the American company, bringing its venture backing to date to a total of $55m. In addition, last year Aquion Energy secured a $15m loan. Aquion Energy manufactures sodium-ion storage batteries tapping into technology developed by its founder Prof. Jay Whiteacre, PhD, from the University of Michigan and Carnegie Mellon University. Sodium is cheaper and more readily available to produce than lithium, the core element of today?s lithium-ion batteries. Aquion?s batteries are designed to store electrical energy generated by alternative sources, such as wind or solar...