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Exclusive: Torus raises $67M for flywheel batteries, energy management

Two workers kneel in front of a large rectangular box, with "TORUS" written in small letters on the side, as they inspect or do light work on the energy product.

Workers inspect a Torus flywheel battery system. A spinning metal disk is contained in the white cylinder at left. Photo: Courtesy of Torus

Torus, a manufacturer of energy storage and energy management devices, raised $67 million in equity and debt, the company tells Axios.

Why it matters: The company plans to use the capital to pursue an unconventional battery for commercial and industrial customers.

The big picture: Origin Ventures led the round, which closed on March 25.

  • About half the round is made up of convertible notes; the rest is split between equity and debt, a Torus spokesperson tells Axios.
  • Epic Ventures, Cumming Capital, the Larry H. Miller Company, Zions Bank, Pelion and Iconiq participated.

Origin Ventures Managing Director Brent Hill and former Vivint Solar CEO David Bywater joined the company's three-member board.

  • Torus CEO Nate Walkingshaw holds the third seat.

State of play: Torus in the past year has installed about 2 MWh of home battery systems, mostly for residential customers in Utah.

  • The company, based in South Salt Lake, Utah, is now expanding to the commercial and utility sectors and introducing virtual power plant and energy management products.

The intrigue: The company is also building a battery that stores energy using a fast-spinning flywheel, a departure from conventional chemical-based batteries such as lithium-ion.

How it works: Electricity from solar panels or wind turbines powers a motor that spins a heavy metal disc. The disc then dispatches electricity over time as it gradually slows.

  • The approach works well for high-demand applications or when paired with traditional chemical batteries.

What's next: Torus is manufacturing its flywheel systems, the spokesperson says. The company plans to deploy the tech in the next six to 12 months.

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