Firefly Energy Inc., which has been developing a portfolio of next-generation lead-acid battery technologies, announced this week that the company has completed a $15 million Series C equity round of financing led by a strategic group of Clean-Tech investors, including Quercus Trust, Khosla Ventures and Infield Capital--all investment firms focused primarily on clean technologies addressing environmental issues. These new investors join existing Firefly Energy investors Caterpillar, BAE Systems, Husqvarna, KB Partners, the Illinois Finance Authority and the Tri-County Venture Capital Fund.
The company said it will use the new capital to accelerate first-generation products for the commercial and military markets into volume production. The funding will also be used to support expanded product development, research and product awareness in new markets.
Long-haul trucking will be one of the first markets for Firefly Energy’s microcell, foam-based battery technology, according to the company. Firefly Energy’s new battery, the “OasisT,” is designed to supply engine-off power to a truck’s sleeper cab, reducing fuel costs and exhaust emissions.
Vinod Khosla, partner of Khosla Ventures, believes Firefly Energy is concurrently pioneering both a significant technology and an innovative business model.
“Alternative energy is a key focus of Khosla Ventures, and as such we view the Firefly Energy investment as very strategic,” he said. “The battery technology company has customers, patents, a highly focused business model and has been recognized worldwide for its technological innovations. We are pleased to have participated in this round.”
Firefly’s battery products and their patented microcell technology are designed to deliver to battery markets a level of performance achieved with advanced battery chemistries (Nickel Metal Hydride and Lithium) but at one-fifth the cost. Microcell foam battery products can also be manufactured as well as recycled within the existing lead acid battery industry’s infrastructure.