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Scoop: Form Energy preparing to raise $500M for multi-day batteries

an illustration of an industrial battery surrounded by shapes and cutouts of money

Illustration: Tiffany Herring/Axios

Long-duration battery developer Form Energy has started meeting with investors as it prepares to raise up to $500 million this year, three sources familiar with the plans tell Axios.

Why it matters: Form Energy says it's developed an inexpensive battery that can put energy onto the grid for days at a time, a capability that would be a linchpin of the clean energy transition.

Catch up fast: Form Energy is among the buzziest startups in climate tech.

  • Its "iron air" battery can provide over four days of energy, a capability that's eluded expensive short-term chemistries like lithium-ion.
  • The breakthrough means Form Energy can fill the gaps created by intermittent wind and solar farms, displacing coal and natural gas plants to create truly zero-emissions grids.

The latest: Form Energy plans to begin raising a Series F in Q2 or Q3, sources tell Axios.

  • The startup is telling potential investors that this round will put the company on a path to break-even.
  • It's building its first two factories outside Pittsburgh: one in Weirton, West Virginia, expected to start production this spring, the other in Eighty Four, Pennsylvania.

Between the lines: The round represents the impact of the IPO window being closed, sources tell Axios.

  • If public markets were more receptive to public offerings, Form Energy likely would have pursued an IPO instead of seeking this amount of cash through private investment.

Of note: Form Energy declined to comment.

  • The company previously raised $450 million in October 2022, reportedly at a $2 billion post-money valuation, per PitchBook.
  • TPG led the round, joined by GIC, CPP Investments, steel maker ArcelorMittal and Bill Gates-backed Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

How it works: Form Energy's battery "breathes" in oxygen to convert iron to rust, dispatching an electrical charge. It then recharges by "exhaling" the oxygen, converting the rust back to iron.

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