Advanced MaterialsMoney & FundingSustainability

6K raises $51M to accelerate advanced battery material development

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6K, an expert in the production of sustainable advanced materials for energy storage and additive manufacturing powders, has closed a $51M Series C financing round. With this investment, 6K will complete its Battery Development Center of Excellence, adding 33,000 sq ft of state-of-the-art product development space and doubling its 6K Energy team. Funding will also enable a tripling of production capacity for 3D metal powders at its 6K Additive division, increase the portfolio of powder product offerings, and expand its commercial sales activities globally. The financing round was led by Volta Energy Technologies, joined by new investors Catalus Capital and S Cap/Prithvi Ventures, and existing investors Anzu Partners, Launch Capital, Material Impact, and RKS Ventures.

“This round of capital is a validation of 6K’s model to replace wasteful legacy production technologies with the UniMelt platform, enter scaled production, meet customer needs, move toward profitability, and transform industries,” commented Aaron Bent, CEO of 6K. “We are joined by world-class investors who are aligned with our vision to transform the way performance materials are produced. And in doing so, we are teaming to solve critical needs of the US and the planet, addressing climate change, supply chain security, and reducing the demand on our fragile and limited resources.”

6K’s mission is to provide a solution for global decarbonization in the production of performance materials, critical to manufacturing and production infrastructure. The UniMelt plasma production system is a revolutionary high volume production process, producing advanced performance materials in as little as two seconds versus two – three days. The UniMelt system displaces costly and wasteful legacy manufacturing approaches with a lower-cost, smaller footprint production technology, providing a path to meeting the cost demands the market requires. 6K’s UniMelt platform offers multifaceted sustainability benefits like no other material production platform in the world. As an example, if a legacy battery cathode production plant was replaced with 6K’s UniMelt platform, 100% of solid waste and wastewater would be eliminated, energy usage and greenhouse gas generation would be reduced by up to 70%, and water usage would be decreased by 90%.

The UniMelt production process can produce products as varied as batteries materials for electric vehicles, semiconductor materials, 3D printing powders, phosphors, advanced ceramics, and electronic materials, and much more.

Zander Arkin, Volta’s Chief Investment Officer, joins as a 6K Board Director, alongside Board luminaries such as Congressman Joe Kennedy III and Mark Little, previously CTO at GE. “Our investment strategy focuses on technologies that bring a positive impact to the environment and contribute to the rapid adoption of electric vehicles and renewable energy on the grid,” said Mr. Arkin. “Not only does 6K and its UniMelt platform align perfectly to our investment strategy, but the company is well poised to impact advanced material manufacturing for electric vehicle batteries with a solution that changes the dynamic of sustainability in the supply chain for battery materials”.

6K will be using the proceeds of the financing to expand product development and commercial activities across its multiple divisions:

6K ADDITIVE: 6K is the only premium metal powder supplier for 3D printing produced from sustainable sources, targeting the commercial space, medical, and industrial sectors. Following the commissioning of its 45-acre ISO9001 24/7 state-of-the-art powder production operations in 2020, 6K will now expand production with an additional 600 tons/year and set up sales and distribution in Europe and Asia.

6K ENERGY: 6K has communicated its intent to invest $25M over 24 months in its Battery Development Center of Excellence, enabling unique business models with partners for rapid product development and deployment. The Center will be fully capable of pilot production with UniMelt capacity equivalent of 400 MWh. 6K is currently sampling customers, and developing products across NMC cathode, LFP, silicon-dominant anode, lithium, solid-state electrolyte, and recycled cathode materials.

6K FUTURE MATERIALS: 6K, in response to demand from companies across the performance materials spectrum, will invest in the identification and development of performance and electronic materials that can be produced cost-effectively and sustainably with its UniMelt plasma production system. 6K has established an advanced R&D team for the development of performance materials including those for applications ranging from semiconductors to electronic packaging to bio-ceramics to name just a few.

Research 2021
Ceramic AM Market Opportunities and Trends

This market study from 3dpbm Research provides an in-depth analysis and forecast of the ceramic additive ma...

Andrea Gambini

Andrea has always loved reading and writing. He started working in an editorial office as a sports journalist in 2008, then the passion for journalism and for the world of communication in general, allowed him to greatly expand his interests, leading to several years of collaborations with several popular online newspapers. Andrea then approached 3D printing, impressed by the great potential of this new technology, which day after the day pushed him to learn more and more about what he considers a real revolution that will soon be felt in many fields of our daily life.

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