Pittsburgh-based energy storage company Aquion Energy closes US$30M round of venture financing; company to begin shipping its first pre-production, sodium-ion, aqueous electrolyte battery systems for testing

PITTSBURGH , September 7, 2011 (press release) – Funding comes from Foundation Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Advanced Technology Ventures, and TriplePoint Capital

Aquion Energy, Inc., a developer and manufacturer of revolutionary batteries and energy storage systems, today announced it has closed a $30 million round of venture financing. Foundation Capital led the round with participation from returning investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as well as new investors Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV) and TriplePoint Capital. Coincident with this financing, Steve Vassallo of Foundation Capital and Bill Wiberg of ATV have joined the Aquion board of directors. Prior to this round, Aquion had been supported with funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The potential market for energy storage is vast and is forecast to exceed $20 billion globally by 2021 (Pike Research, 2011). Aquion’s unique technologies and products, which originated from research at Carnegie Mellon University, have been specifically developed to meet the demanding requirements of both small and large-scale energy storage applications. Aquion products provide compelling results on key performance factors including cycle/calendar life, round trip efficiency, discharge abuse tolerance, capital costs, maintenance costs, and safety. In addition, Aquion batteries are inherently green and contain no hazardous materials, corrosive acids or noxious fumes.

“Energy storage applications, particularly at grid-scale, provide enormous market opportunities for companies with truly enabling solutions,” said Steve Vassallo of Foundation Capital. “We see Aquion’s novel energy storage technology as a game-changer in several key markets and are delighted to be part of their world-class team.”

“The Aquion team is committed to changing the way the world uses energy by delivering safe, reliable, and economical energy storage solutions,” said Scott Pearson, Aquion’s CEO. “We are very excited about our new investment partners and the assistance, both financial and operational, they can provide the company as we launch our first products and begin to scale the company globally”.

“We have been tracking Aquion’s progress since its founding and have been consistently impressed with the team’s ability to convert innovation into meaningful commercial differentiation,” said Bill Wiberg, General Partner at ATV.

In the fall of 2011 Aquion will begin shipping its first pre-production energy storage systems to external testing facilities and selected strategic partners. In addition, Aquion is currently in the process of identifying and selecting an appropriate site for its first high volume factory in the United States. This state-of-the-art manufacturing facility is expected to become operational in 2013 and create more than 500 jobs across a wide range of employment categories.

About Aquion Energy

Aquion Energy, Inc. is a Pittsburgh-based company that is designing and manufacturing a revolutionary type of battery based on the research of Carnegie Mellon University Professor Jay Whitacre. The company has developed a novel, sodium-ion, aqueous electrolyte battery that will enhance the electrical grid by providing flexible, emissions-free capacity that optimizes existing generation assets and enables broad adoption of renewable energy technologies. Aquion’s battery system will also address a myriad of other energy storage application challenges. Beyond minimized cell and system costs and dramatic performance enhancements over incumbent technologies, the company is building batteries that are safe, environmentally benign and long lasting. For more information please see http://www.aquionenergy.com.

About Kleiner Perkins

Since its founding in 1972, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has backed entrepreneurs in over 500 ventures, including AOL, Amazon.com, Citrix, Compaq Computer, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Genomic Health, Google, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Netscape, Lotus, Sun Microsystems, Symantec, Verisign and Xilinx. KPCB portfolio companies employ more than 250,000 people. More than 150 of the firm’s portfolio companies have gone public. Many other ventures have achieved success through mergers and acquisitions. The firm has offices in Menlo Park, California; Beijing, China; and Shanghai, China. For additional information visit www.kpcb.com.

About Foundation Capital

At Foundation Capital, we're dedicated to the proposition that one entrepreneur's idea, with the right support, can become a business that changes the world. We helped Atheros create the mobile Internet, EnerNOC invent the energy demand response market, and Netflix revolutionize media distribution and consumption, among many others. We're currently invested in more than 70 high growth ventures in the areas of consumer, information technology, software, semiconductors, and clean technology. Recent public offerings of companies we helped found or grow include Reponsys, Financial Engines and Envestnet. To learn more about our firm, visit www.foundationcapital.com.

About Advanced Technology Ventures

Founded in 1979, Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV) is a bi-coastal venture capital firm with more than $1.6 billion in capital under management. ATV works closely with entrepreneurial teams in several technology markets, including communications, infrastructure, software and services, consumer technology, biopharmaceuticals, medical devices and cleantech, to build emerging-growth business ventures into market leaders. With more than 29 years of experience, ATV has a proven track record of success in helping to build strong, sustainable business enterprises. For additional information visit www.atvcapital.com.

About TriplePoint Capital:

TriplePoint Capital is the leading global specialty finance company devoted to serving high-growth private equity and venture capital backed companies throughout their lifespan with debt financing, equity capital, and complementary services. With unparalleled levels of creativity, flexibility and customer service, TriplePoint Capital has been the primary debt financing provider to YouTube, Facebook, Gilt Group, Square, Gevo, Ilypsa, Suniva, Proteolix and numerous other high profile technology, cleantech, and life sciences companies. TriplePoint Capital is uniquely qualified as the only provider equipped to meet the needs of high-growth companies at every stage of their development. Headquartered on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, California, TriplePoint Capital partners with high-growth companies around the world. For more information, visit www.triplepointcapital.com.

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