VC Firms Invest In Energy Storage

Jan 12 2009 | 6:40pm ET

Venture capital firms Quercus Trust and 21Ventures are hoping to get a jolt with a new electrical conductivity technology. The two firms have invested $500,000 with Austin, Texas-based startup Graphene Energy.  

“Graphene Energy Inc., with an exciting technology for addressing energy storage needs, particularly for high power density requirements and enabling new applications of energy storage, is an exciting addition to our portfolio,” said David Anthony, managing partner for 21Ventures. “Demand for energy storage is growing tremendously and the Graphene-based Ultracapacitor technology is ready to make its contribution. It is also an excellent fit in our portfolio of cleantech companies.”

The startup has also concluded licensing terms for Graphene-based Ultracapacitor Technology from The University of Texas at Austin and The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

“Graphene has superior electrical conductivity and surface area and these attributes suggest it could work exceptionally well in electrochemical double layer capacitance applications, also referred to as ‘supercapacitor’ or ‘ultracapacitor’ technology,” said Rod Ruoff, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin. “The structure of Graphene is fundamentally different than activated carbon, which is typically used in supercapacitors now. Our goals include obtaining significantly improved specific capacitance in Farads/gram, and improved energy density.”
 Quercus Trust is a cleantech venture fund in North America with strategic investments in the clean technology areas of solar, water, bio-fuels, wind and batteries.  21Ventures is a venture capital fund that specializes in clean technologies, mobile software and security.

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