Suzhou Electroder Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Electroder) closed tens of millions of RMB in Series A Funding, which was led by Robert Bosch Venture Capital Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Bosch Venture), a subsidiary of Bosch Group, and followed by its old shareholder Sinovation Ventures.
According to REN Bobing, Executive Director of Sinovation Ventures and General Manager of Frontier Technology Fund, “The interdisciplinary AI + science has evolved into the new paradigm of entrepreneurial growth in the next 5 years. In less than a year after the angel investment of Frontier Technology Fund, it’s to our surprise that Electroder, with its 'AI + new energy' technology and its strong independent innovation capacity, has developed and iterated the globally leading technology and product. In terms of commercialization, the original product has rapidly won recognition from top industry customers including Geely Automobile and Honeycomb Energy, and it also made a successful overseas expansion as a new energy industrial software product made in China. We expect Electroder to burgeon into a leader in the 'sustainable technology' track and bring disruptive changes to the global new energy chain."
Founded in 2019, Electroder is dedicated to the software and solutions for intelligent design, manufacturing and operation in the new energy battery industry. Based on the world's original "non-homogeneous" underlying model, its self-made battery SaaS platform can save about 80% of the development cycle and up to half of the R&D cost of new battery models, which has been recognized by the leading enterprises both at home and abroad.
With the help of this funding round, Electroder will forge ahead with its technical research, incarnate more practical scenarios and expand the commercial scale of its products in the market. At the same time, the company will further implement its internationalization strategy by offering convenient service to overseas Chinese enterprises and global customers in potential markets.
Dr. Chen Xinhong, Founder and CEO of Elactroder, attends the 2022 World EV& ES Battery Conference
Catalyzed by the wave of new energy technologies, major breakthroughs in core technologies and generational leaps of battery design methods are underway.
The first generation of battery product design uses the traditional experimental trial-and-error method, i.e., eliminating errors through repeated experiments and sample production. Relevant battery model has been in service for decades, with significant pain points like multiple link redundancy, long R&D cycles, and high costs.
The demand for battery model design is now in explosive growth as sizeable main engine plants from domestic and foreign new energy industry entered into the battery field, developing and producing electric cells all by themselves. In addition to electromobile, two-wheelers, heavy trucks, ships, aircraft and other vehicles have also been on the track of electrification on all fronts. The new energy revolution has also directly driven the scale development of energy storage systems. These end-hosts all have unique design requirements for battery performance and are in urgent need of upgrades in battery development technology to meet new industry needs.
Experts expect that the value of China's battery end-product industry alone will be as high as a trillion RMB, which is likely to triple by 2030, and that of the entire industry chain will grow to be several times larger. After the energy transition, the battery is an important energy carrier and energy storage method with a maximum of versatility. The digital design platform in the upstream design segment will create great value for product model development, new material application, process improvement and intelligent manufacturing.
Under the huge demand of new energy industry for iterative upgrading, the world battery design technology represented by Electroder is leaping to the second generation featuring "independent R&D and simulation driving". Guided by system engineering methods and models, this method projects the performance of the product design through simulation technology, and optimizes it to meet the conditions or the best. This alternative technology increases the efficiency of individual model product design by 2-5 times.
Battery intelligent automatic design & two core technologies
Unlike the traditional trial-and-error method and battery model that has been in service for nearly 30 years, Elactroder has independently developed a SaaS design platform for the battery vertical based on the world's leading high-precision "non-homogeneous" underlying model. The solution will come a long way in cost reduction and efficiency improvement. It can directly reduce the development cycle of new battery models from as long as 36 months to 6-8 months, which not only can greatly shorten the product launch cycle, but also is expected to save more than 50% of R&D cost for the industry.
Electroder has signed cooperation agreements with a number of battery manufacturers, established car makers and start-ups to take the battery industry to a new height. It was previously contracted to provide a Giga Factory in Europe with its first battery cell design, making Electroder the first Chinese company to provide battery design solutions to foreign customers.
Battery Digitalization Design Platform
The reason for such a quick adoption of technology is inseparable from the strong multidisciplinary background of Electroder’s team.
The company’s core group consists of professionals with rich experience in the industry and an integrative background in “battery knowledge, design and simulation as well as advanced manufacturing". Each member has working experience of more than 10 years in and outside China. Graduating from Tsinghua University, Cornell University, Nanjing University of Technology and other elite educational institutions, they have created an interdisciplinary knowledge structure that integrates battery mathematical modeling, cell research and development, multi-physics field simulation, lean manufacturing and other fields. Electroder’s science team also include some of the leading experts in battery research as its best brainpower and a source of continuous innovation.
Dr. Chen Xinhong, the founder and CEO of the company, is a graduate from Nanjing University of Science and Technology, the first Chinese recipient of the Peiji Zhou International Young Scholar Award and a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). She holds more than 20 patents as the first inventor and served for a long time as the head of the simulation and designdepartment of a large foreign enterprise. Having accumulated a lot of experience in leading a team and solving real-life engineering problems, she started the career of developing independent and controllable new energy battery design software since 2018.
"Electroder is equipping its customers with the core capability of developing and manufacturing batteries by themselves, and helping them to gain an essential competitive edge under the long-term strategy of electrification. The investment of Bosch Ventures provides capital and industrial support for Electroder’s ambition and helps the company to expand the European market", Chen said.
"In the fast-growing industry of new energy battery, Electroder helps to speed up battery R&D and reduce development costs through its digital tools for cell design while facilitating the fast and high-quality development of upstream and downstream industries including battery materials, equipment manufacturing, new energy vehicles and energy storage." SUN Xiaoguang, Investment Partner at Robert Bosch Venture and Head of Venture Capital China said, “The Bosch Group is a technology and service provider as well as an active champion in the field of carbon neutrality. In 2020, the Group achieved carbon neutrality and became the first large industrial company in the world to accomplish such a feat. Bosch and Electroder will deepen their cooperation and work together to create greater business value for the new energy market."
CHEN Xinhong expects another crucial technological advancement in the next 5-10 years, i.e. a further step toward intelligence based on simulation-driven forward design methods. With the help of third-generation intelligent technologies, the development efficiency of single battery product will be increased by 10 to 100 times. She said, "AI is becoming a platform technology that will reshape the new energy track after integrating with other technologies in the sector. With the application of the high-efficiency optimization algorithm, Electroder is expected to further improve efficiency by 1-2 orders of magnitude and usher in an era of intelligence for the battery design industry."