Ionblox, a high-performance lithium-ion cell company based in California, has announced that it has closed a $24 million Series B investment round led by German eVTOL startup Lilium, with participation from Applied Ventures, LLC, and Catalus Capital. The funds will be used to scale up Ionblox’s operations and manufacturing capabilities, as well as to invest in expanding the company’s team with a particular focus on hiring manufacturing talent.

Founded in 2017 by Sujeet Kumar, Herman Lopez, and Michael Sinkula, Ionblox aims to transform the future of mobility by land and air. “Our unique batteries can be scaled up with low risk and at a competitive cost because we use commercially available materials and proven production processes and equipment, rather than costly and hard-to-scale proprietary materials,” said Kumar.

Ionblox’s proprietary pre-lithiated silicon oxide anode and cell design can enable multiple performance attributes, such as fast charging, high energy, high power, and long life at low cost, pushing the limits of traditional battery storage technology. The company has more than 40 patents, including for the pre-lithiation of all silicon-based anodes.


Ionblox has developed a commercially scalable battery with a silicon-dominant anode that can provide high energy, high power, 1,000 fast charge cycles, and a clear path to low-cost production. The company has addressed all the well-known challenges of using silicon as an active material, and created a cell design that can uniquely deliver the key performance attributes for automotive and aviation applications.

“The long-term success of the eVTOL regional air mobility revolution depends on the continued development of high-performance batteries. After an extensive review, Ionblox’s pouch cell technology will be well-positioned to achieve superior combined performance for high power and energy density. We are very excited to continue our joint development,” said Yves Yemsi, COO of Lilium.

Lilium is a German eVTOL startup that has developed a six-passenger electric aircraft, the Lilium Jet, which will be the world’s first electric vertical take-off and landing jet. The company plans to create a regional air mobility service that will enable people to travel more quickly, affordably, and sustainably than traditional ground-based transportation. The company has raised more than $375 million in funding to date, with investors including Tencent and Atomico.

“Applied Ventures is very impressed with the tremendous progress Sujeet and the Ionblox team have made developing silicon anode batteries in collaboration with Applied Materials, Lilium, and EV companies,” said Anand Kamannavar, global head of Applied Ventures. “We look forward to supporting Ionblox in accelerating the commercialization of its next-generation batteries.”

Ionblox recently received its third development contract from the United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC) for developing low-cost, fast-charge electric vehicle batteries. The company’s batteries are suited for high-performance automotive and aviation applications, enabling electric vehicle and electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft companies to achieve their performance goals.

Above: Profile view of the Lilium eVTOL jet

Why it’s important:

The success of the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) industry is heavily dependent on the development of high-performance batteries. These batteries need to be able to provide the necessary energy density and power required for safe and efficient flight while being as lightweight as possible. Ionblox’s proprietary pre-lithiated silicon oxide anode and cell design offers several key performance attributes, including fast charging, high energy, high power, and long life at a low cost. These attributes make the batteries ideally suited for high-performance automotive and aviation applications, including eVTOLs.

Ionblox’s collaboration with Lilium and other investors, as well as its partnership with USABC, both demonstrate the industry’s recognition of the importance of battery technology in the eVTOL sector. These investments and partnerships also highlight Ionblox’s potential to become a major player in the battery technology market, especially for eVTOL applications.


Posted by Rajvir Singh