Itzehoe/Tübingen - Customcells - Europe’s leading battery cell developer and producer - is today announcing a €60 million Series A funding round as it looks to advance a push into e-aviation. The round was led by World Fund, Europe’s leading climate VC, with support from Abacon Capital, Vsquared Ventures, Ventresa, 468 Capital and Porsche.
The funding round will be used to further Customcells’ R&D and expand its battery cell offering for the burgeoning e-aviation market. As airlines, airplane manufacturers, transport and logistic firms as well as autonomous airplane operators look to decarbonise an industry responsible for over 2% of all global carbon emissions and enormous damage caused to the ozone layer.
Customcells is already working with a host of leading aviation brands including all-electric jet creator Lilium, and a number of well-known aviation and airline operators, to be announced at a later date. The funds will also be used to expand beyond Germany, with an initial push into Western Europe.
"Our goal is to create and shape a new premium segment in the international battery cell market," says Dirk Abendroth, CEO of Customcells. "This includes the next generation of battery cells that are tailor-made to meet the needs of our aviation industry customers. The development of battery cell technology is still in its infancy, and Customcells intends to stake a claim of ownership in the aviation segment which is the next great decarbonisation challenge the world faces.”
Customcells, with locations in Itzehoe, a town in Germany’s North West, close to Hamburg, and Tübingen, a city in the Baden-Württemberg region, is a spinout from the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, one of Germany’s preeminent research institutes, and has been active in the development and production of a series of state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery cells for the last decade since launching in 2012.
Customcells works along the entire value chain for batteries for aviation, automotives, chemical sectors, and safety equipment from development, to certification and series production through to end-of-life recycling. This funding will enable the company to scale its supply chain and improve its economies of scale. Customcells’ has already secured certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
World Fund, the European climate VC leading the round, only invests in technologies with a Climate Performance Potential (CPP) of removing 100 million tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere annually by 2040. The fund’s CPP calculations show that the battery performance and adoption use cases alone would play a significant role in helping reduce carbon emissions from the aviation sector.
Daria Saharova, founding partner at World Fund, commented: “The aviation industry is responsible for over 2% of all global emissions - it’s a huge uphill battle to decarbonise this sector, yet one with high reward if the technology solutions are found. We’re so excited about this company because the technology that Customcells is developing has enormous potential to wipe large proportions of these emissions out, and to become a once-in-a-generation innovation in a sector the global economy is so reliant upon.”
World Fund recently conducted extensive research into what is often touted as e-aviations main alternative technology, synthetic fuel (e-fuels), which typically finds that these technologies are not only unable to serve the aircraft responsible for the majority of emissions, but likely to do more environmental harm than good.
Leading up to the round, and to be expanded upon into 2023, Customcells intends to further push its first-to-market competitive advantage and push its technological lead with increased research into the field of e-aviation. Customcells has filed over 50 unique patents in 2022, which will be expanded upon significantly in the coming years.
"The electrification of our economy is only just beginning and is driving the transformation of the world's three largest markets - energy, buildings and mobility. Energy storage is the critical link," says Tobias Krauss, CEO of Abacon Capital. "Customcells is uniquely positioned to do this and inspires its customers as a reliable partner."
"Our fund stands for the industrialisation of next-gen technologies and at Customcells the next generation of cell technology is currently being created. With ten years of know-how and numerous patents, the company is ideally positioned to be the market leader in this field," says Herbert Mangesius, Partner at Vsquared Ventures.
Imagery can be found here.
Customcells puts premium battery cells on the road, on the water and in the air. As one of the leading companies in the fields of development and series production of special lithium-ion battery cells, Customcells is setting the pace for a comprehensive technological transformation. Customcells employs more than 150 highly qualified employees and operates development and production sites in Itzehoe and Tübingen. The company supports its customers along the entire value chain - from the initial idea, through prototyping and series production, to project planning and commissioning of customers' own gigafactories. Today, Customcells is already a recognised premium partner of major car manufacturers, and its solutions are also playing a key role in driving forward the electrification of the aviation sector.
World Fund is the leading Europe-focused climate venture capital fund established by Daria Saharova, Danijel Višević, Craig Douglas, and Tim Schumacher. From energy, food, agriculture, and land use, to building materials, manufacturing and transport, World Fund is investing in European tech with significant climate performance potential (CPP). The investment team comprises engineers, physicists, chemists, biologists, early and growth stage investors. World Fund is backing those entrepreneurs who are building tech for a regenerative world.
Abacon Capital is the entrepreneurial investment holding company of the Büll Family Office, encompassing all venture capital and start-up investments. Since our group was founded more than 50 years ago, we have partnered with entrepreneurs who have the courage to build great and sustainable organizations. Together, we are convinced that supporting each other, acting responsibly and generating profits are not opposites
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