Aug 24, 2017

Battery startup raises $30 million and readies new factory

Courtesy of Romeo Power

Romeo Power, a 2-year-old startup, has raised $30 million in seed funding to build what it says are better custom lithium ion battery packs. The company will also open its new factory in Southern California by the end of the year.

Why it matters: Batteries are becoming increasingly critical with the rise of electric cars and the development of new technologies like drones and vertical take-off and landing vehicles. Batteries can also help with managing energy in commercial and residential buildings, and can even help people in areas with lower access to electricity.

Big claims: Romeo, which purchases batteries from suppliers like Samsung, says it can design and manufacture battery packs that perform better than the competition, and can be prototyped faster, largely thanks to the design software it has built.

  • The company claims that its battery packs are at least 25% denser and charge in 15-20% less time.
  • It says it already has $65 million in customer orders, which will be delivered next year. Customers include major automakers (in the U.S. and Europe), as well as industrial and robotics companies like Power Designers and Robotic Assistance Devices. "Tesla is the only one that won't be a customer," co-founder and CEO Michael Patterson told Axios in an acknowledgement of the automaker's established battery business.
  • It's also developing energy storage systems for buildings.
  • Romeo co-founder and CTO Porter Harris has led battery design at SpaceX as well as Faraday Future. Co-founder and CEO Michael Patterson is a serial entrepreneur who sold his last company to American Express.

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Bernie's juggernaut

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in San Antonio last night with his wife, Jane. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders won so big in the Nevada caucuses that Democrats are hard-pressed to sketch a way he's not their nominee.

Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Buttigieg campaign claims Nevada caucuses were "plagued with errors"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg's campaign wrote a letter on Sunday asking the Nevada State Democratic Party to release early vote and in-person vote totals by precinct and address certain caucus errors identified by campaigns, The Nevada Independent reports.

The big picture: The campaign alleges that the process of integrating early votes on caucus day was “plagued with errors and inconsistencies,” and says it received more than 200 incident reports from precincts around the state.

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Coronavirus threat grows, threatening some drug supplies

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

As the novel coronavirus continues spreading globally and China grapples with a limited production capability, there's a growing risk to about 150 prescription drugs in the U.S., sources tell Axios.

The big picture: The coronavirus has spread to more countries, with both South Korea and Italy stepping up emergency measures amid rising case numbers on Sunday. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,467 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health