Market Moves: Investors value EV battery maker Our Next Energy at $1.2B

Feb. 9, 2023
Two other undisclosed strategic investors also are backing the Michigan-based team led by founder Mujeeb Ijaz, who was a senior executive at A123 Systems LLC and worked on energy storage projects at Apple

Electric vehicle battery manufacturer Our Next Energy Inc. has closed its Series B capital fundraising with $300 million in equity financing, bringing its valuation to $1.2 billion.

The startup, which was found in 2020, specializes in making long-range batteries and closed its Series A capital raise in October 2021 with investors that included Bill Gates, BMW and Jeff Bezos.

This round, Fifth Wall and Franklin Templeton were the forerunners, along with growth equity investors Temasek, Riverstone Holdings and Coatue, as well as two new venture investors, AI Capital Partners and Sente Ventures.

Two other undisclosed strategic investors from the EV manufacturing and renewable energy sectors also are backing the Michigan-based team led by founder Mujeeb Ijaz, who was a senior executive at A123 Systems LLC before working on energy storage projects at Apple Inc. for six years.

ONE also has received more than $200 million in grants from the state of Michigan, bringing the total in funds this round to over $500 million. The money will go toward the construction of ONE’s first factory in Van Buren Township, near Detroit.

The plant, which will cost approximately $1.6 billion and employ more than 2,000 people, completed its exterior structure in December and is scheduled to open in 2024. Work at the site will include raw material refinement, cathode materials production and manufacturing of lithium-iron-phosphate cells and batteries.

ONE says it has three goals: Double the range of electric vehicles, use safer and more sustainable raw materials and establish a local supply chain. Alongside its Aries and Aries II batteries for commercial vehicles, ONE has also created a range extender capable of more than 600 miles on a single charge for standard EVs—roughly twice the range of the Tesla’s most popular car, the Model 3.

And the company has partnered with multiple companies to keep its manufacturing in North America and announced plans for an inclusive workforce development program to retrain Michigan residents for green manufacturing jobs.

"Batteries are a fundamental component of the global energy transition economy," said Peter Gajdoš, partner and co-head of Fifth Wall’s climate technology team. "We believe ONE's next-generation mobility and stationary storage applications are a game changer and are set to transform the $100B+ battery market.”

Michigan leaders also have granted more than $700 million in incentives to Chinese battery company Gotion High Tech for a $2.36 billion facility in Big Rapids, about 50 miles north of Grand Rapids. That factory, once completed, will house 2,350 jobs and produce a combined 200,000 tons of cathode and anode material.

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About the author: Jennifer Ramsay serves as the Editor-At-Large for Endeavor Business Media’s Market Moves newsletter. A Georgia native, she holds a communications degree from the University of North Georgia and has been a journalist since 2019, reporting on a variety of topics.