Reviving A 50-Year-Old Battery Technology: Inlyte Energy Secures $8 Million In Seed Funding


It’s not every day that a technology abandoned decades ago gets a chance at redemption. Sodium-metal-halide batteries, first patented in the mid-1970s, have resurfaced thanks to Inlyte Energy’s pioneering efforts. The company recently closed an impressive $8 million seed round, signaling renewed interest in this once-forgotten innovation.

Key Takeaway

Inlyte Energy has secured $8 million in seed funding to revive sodium-metal-halide batteries, a 50-year-old technology with immense potential for affordable and energy-dense storage solutions.

Rediscovering the Potential

In the early days, sodium-metal-halide batteries showed immense promise. They boasted high energy density and cost-effective manufacturing, drawing the attention of automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz, which heavily invested in their development. These batteries were even tested in compact sedans, covering thousands of miles per year. However, the focus shifted to lithium-ion batteries as automakers considered their potential for electric vehicles, leaving sodium-metal-halide batteries behind.

Enter Antonio Baclig, a recent Stanford graduate with a vision to revolutionize grid-scale storage for renewable energy sources. Baclig recognized the potential of sodium-based batteries due to their abundant and inexpensive raw material. He honed in on sodium metal halide batteries, determined to make them even more affordable while preserving their longevity and energy density.

The Path to Success

During his research, Baclig connected with Beta Research, a British company that had been involved in sodium-metal-halide battery development since the beginning. This serendipitous encounter provided crucial insights and knowledge about the technology’s history, which further fueled Baclig’s commitment to its revival.

Inlyte Energy’s journey was not without challenges. Facing financial constraints, Baclig struck a deal to acquire Beta Research’s team, facilities, and equipment once adequate funding was secured. And secure it they did.

The $8 million seed round, exclusively led by At One Ventures, witnessed participation from notable investors such as First Spark Ventures, Valo Ventures, TechEnergy Ventures, Climate Capital, Anglo American, and others. This significant financial backing demonstrates market confidence in Inlyte Energy’s vision and the potential of sodium-metal-halide batteries.

The revival of this long-forgotten technology holds great promise for the energy storage industry. By leveraging the affordability and performance of sodium-metal-halide batteries, Inlyte Energy aims to contribute to the growth and sustainability of renewable energy sources, unlocking new possibilities for a greener future.

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