October 21, 2015
Sakti3, a University of Michigan startup that pioneered a new battery platform, has been purchased by Dyson in a $90 million deal that follows an initial investment of $15 million earlier this year.
"Dyson, just like Sakti3, is driven by a desire for audacious leaps in technology," said Ann Marie Sastry, founder of Sakti3 and a former U-M engineering professor. "We are excited to join James Dyson and his outstanding team, together making our battery technology a commercial reality."
Sakti3's prototype solid-state battery cells have a high energy density, giving them the potential to increase the density of today's most advanced liquid lithium ion batteries, while also being smaller, safer, more reliable and longer lasting.
Sakti3 was initially formed with technology developed in the U-M laboratory run by Sastry. She led two research centers in batteries and bioscience that were funded by the U.S. Department of Energy for more than 17 years. Sakti3 was launched as a U-M startup in 2008 with subsequent funding from Khosla Ventures, GM Ventures and others.
Solid-state technology, used in USB flash drives and microchips, has already revolutionized data storage, improving reliability, safety and storage capacity. As with conventional batteries, solid-state batteries are still based on lithium technology. But instead of containing a liquid electrolyte, they consist of solid lithium electrodes.
"We've been a proud supporter of Sakti3, given their heritage from the University of Michigan," said Ken Nisbet, associate vice president for research-technology transfer. "And we are excited about the potential brought to Sakti3 and our region by Dyson with their reputation for working with the world's best innovators and universities."
James Dyson, founder and chief engineer of Dyson, said that to continue to create new and disruptive technology, his firm must develop more advanced core technologies.
"We have invested over $300 million into the research and development of the Dyson digital motor, a technology that now powers our most successful machines," he said. "We will do the same with batteries. Sakti3 has developed a breakthrough in battery technology and together with Dyson we will make this technology a reality."