Launched from the University of Michigan in 2009, Sakti3 is a promising startup behind an extremely significant breakthrough in battery technology. Its remarkable success in doubling the density life of current lithium ion batteries on the market has attracted the attention of heavyweight funders ranging from GM Ventures and Khosla Ventures to the Japanese conglomerate Itochu. With over $30 million in funding and a tremendous amount of support from many in the auto industry and beyond, investors are hopeful that Sakti3’s technological innovations will soon revolutionize the world of electric vehicles and consumer electronics.
What is it about Sakti3’s new battery that is capturing the attention of such an influential range of investors?
First and foremost, it’s important to take note of the achievements that the Michigan startup has already achieved to date. Under the leadership of Ann Marie Sastry, a professor of materials science at the University of Michigan renowned for her intense entrepreneurial and executive qualities, Sakti3 used advanced numerical models and empirical data from laboratories to develop vacuum deposition technology. In layman’s terms, this technological innovation allows the startup to produce solid-state batteries with outstanding longevity at an affordable price.
Perhaps the most important application of this technology will be increasing the longevity and lowering the cost of electric vehicles, which investors anticipate will transform how consumers relate to electric cars. With this technological breakthrough, the auto industry will finally be able to overcome the hurdle of producing electric vehicles that have an adequate range and low enough price to keep consumers happy. For the very first time in the industry’s history, electric vehicles will be able to compete with the gas mileage of conventional cars.
When it comes to pinpointing exactly where Sakti3’s breakthrough has occurred, it’s important to take note of several points. Firstly, the startup has solved a strictly materials problem by producing batteries that can store a tremendous amount of energy. The cutting edge researchers at the firm were able to create batteries without the liquid component that exists in today’s car batteries, which solved numerous issues regarding efficiency, safety, and expense. This innovation in materials would be noteworthy even independent of other factors, but another aspect which has investors lined up behind Sakti3 is its scalability into extraordinarily diverse areas.
As expected, when a startup doubles the energy density of its competition—an exceptional feat that sets it apart from any other existing technology—others begin to take notice. In addition to tens of millions of dollars in funding, Sakti3 has been awarded numerous prizes from prestigious organizations, including being named as one of the most 50 innovative companies by the MIT Technology Review. With a combined 100 years of specialized experience on the senior team, the feeling both inside and outside of Sakti3 is that the best has yet to come. It’s becoming clear that a high performing, low cost, reliable battery has nearly unlimited potential, and Sakti3 is at the very core of the battery revolution.