Less than a year after its launch, French industrial company Verkor has raised €100 million in a funding round co-led by EQT Ventures and Renault Group, with the participation of the French government and the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region.
The funding will support the company’s expansion and the construction of the Verkor Innovation Centre (VIC), where the company will design advanced battery cells and modules.
New shareholders include Arkema, a provider of high-performance specialty materials, and Tokai COBEX, a specialty manufacturer of low-carbon battery anode materials.
The news follows the signing of a partnership between Verkor and the Renault Group, under which Verkor will supply an initial capacity of at least 10 GWh worth of cells per year for Renault’s range of EVs.
Verkor and its partners share a mission to build a competitive local battery cell value chain in Europe. Verkor plans to establish a cell manufacturing capacity of 16 GWh in 2024, and expand this to over 50 GWh by 2030. The VIC, which will be located in Grenoble, and is expected to be operational in 2022, will include a pilot line for battery cell manufacturing, an R&D centre, testing facilities, and training facilities for engineers and technicians.
“We are honored to have shareholders of such a high quality on board with us,” said Verkor CEO Benoit Lemaignan. “Our new shareholding structure totally reflects our ambition: an end-to-end approach to battery manufacturing, each of us focusing on what we do best, while cross-fertilizing our expertise.”
“With the automotive industry facing unprecedented challenges, the investments we make today will turn into tomorrow’s jobs,” said French Minister of Industry Agnès Pannier-Runacher. “Our goal is to accelerate the development of innovative digital processes for battery cell manufacturing, which will be implemented in [Verkor’s] future Gigafactory.”