Sulzbach-based Kraftblock, an innovative energy storage startup, successfully secured €20 million in a Series B funding round led by Shell Ventures, the venture capital arm of energy giant Shell, along with participation from five other global investors including Finindus and A&G Energy Transition Tech Fund.
With the fresh capital, Kraftblock is planning to scale up its workforce and production capabilities. This expansion will enable the startup to address energy-intensive industries like steel and glass across Europe and East Asia. Additionally, Kraftblock envisions new avenues in the United States and Latin American markets through its newfound partnerships.
Martin Schichtel, CEO and co-founder of Kraftblock, said: “We specifically chose investors who have their roots in industries such as food, steel and energy and who will help us to consolidate our leading market position.”
Susanne König, CFO and co-founder, added: “At a time when there are very limited funding opportunities for startups, we are proud to have closed this Series B round. It shows the resilience and solid business of Kraftblock and proves our great potential.”
Founded in 2014, Kraftblock is dedicated to combatting the climate crisis through its proprietary thermal storage technology. This groundbreaking storage solution is capable of withstanding temperatures up to 1,300°C and can store energy for up to two weeks. This innovation eradicates the reliance on fossil fuels for power generation and addresses the intermittency challenge posed by other renewable energy sources. Unlike solar-dependent facilities that encounter operational hurdles on cloudy days, Kraftblock’s technology can consistently harness thermal energy from manufacturing processes.
Jermaine Saaltink, investment director at Shell Ventures, commented: “As the need for decarbonisation solutions in hard to abate sectors continues to increase, Kraftblock has a pivotal role to play by unlocking a renewable electrification pathway and the increased use of waste heat. Both need credible storage to overcome intermittency. We are excited to be joining the team on their journey as they expand their offering globally.”
Finindus investment director Hans Maenhout praised Kraftblock’s solutions as transformative for achieving cost-effective, net-zero heat energy availability, especially in energy-intensive industrial processes. While for A&G Energy Transition Tech Fund, the VC arm of Spanish bank A&G, Kraftblock stands as an early investment with significant potential to drive the industrial sector’s decarbonization.
Kraftblock’s storage system boasts high thermal conductivity, facilitating efficient heat transfer. Excess heat is automatically channeled into the storage medium, while a cold transfer medium extracts heat when needed. This approach ensures seamless energy management.
Notably, Kraftblock’s compact storage solution offers high efficiency, enabling a storage capacity of up to 1.2 MWh per cubic meter. The system’s operating costs are also notably low, allowing users to reach the break-even point within a few years.
Eco-friendliness is central to Kraftblock’s design ethos. The storage system’s components are predominantly made from recycled steel slag, minimizing its environmental impact. Additionally, the startup asserts that its solution boasts remarkable durability, with an expected service life exceeding 40 years. Kraftblock has established partnerships with industry leaders to deploy its pioneering technology. Last year, the company collaborated with PepsiCo, a prominent food and beverage company, to establish an energy storage system within PepsiCo’s factory in Broek op Langedijk, the Netherlands.