ASX-listed company ReNu Energy recently completed the first $250,000 tranche of its investment in startup, Vaulta. To be carried out in stages over the course of the year, ReNu’s investment could eventually total $1 million, which would see it command a 20% stake in Vaulta.
Vaulta was founded in 2019 by Dominic Spooner, whose inspiration for the company came from frustration over the difficulty reusing lithium-ion battery parts and poor recycling practices.
Answering the dire need for circular designs in new energy technologies, Vaulta has patented streamlined, no-weld battery casings. Its designs involve fewer parts and are optimised for ease of both assembly and disassembly, crucial for cell replacement, reuse and recycling.
While great emphasis has been put on improving battery technologies, Spooner told The Guardian last year that how batteries are actually housed tends to be overlooked.
“Batteries will change our lives in ways that we’re maybe not even totally aware of, but… we can create our own new group of problems if we’re not careful,” Spooner said.
“With 3,300 tonnes of lithium-ion battery waste per year in Australia (estimated to increase by 20% annually) and 2 million tonnes predicted globally by 2030, a technology solution was needed to reduce the creation of battery waste,” he added.
Operating out of a Brisbane garage, Vaulta has seen some major successes since launching, signing partnership deals, supplying US and European customers, receiving $297,500 to commercialise its technology from a federal grant and generating revenue in FY2022.
“ReNu Energy’s investment will enable us to scale our manufacturing capability and target further sales domestically and into the APAC and North America markets,” Spooner said.
ReNu Energy CEO Greg Watson described Vaulta as having “tremendous potential.”
“This investment opportunity is simply one we could not ignore,” ReNu Energy Chairman Boyd White added.
Vaulta’s battery casing solution serves a “very large addressable market,” White said, noting the technology “works wherever batteries do – from stationary storage and electric vehicles to defence, aerospace, wearable batteries and beyond.”
ReNu’s investment, its fifth such play in Australia, will be funded from existing cash reserves, according to the company. Once $500,000 has been invested as part of the second tranche due by April 13, ReNu will be entitled to nominate a non-executive director to Vaulta’s board.
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