Battery Startup IBC Raises $35 Million to Fund Factory in Bengaluru

The company aims to start battery production in Bengaluru by 2025


International Battery Company (IBC), a lithium-ion battery startup, raised $35 million (₹2.91 billion) in a pre-series A round led by RTP Global, a venture capital firm based in Bengaluru, and other Korean and U.S. investors.

Singapore-based Beenext and Veda VC, an early-stage venture capital fund, also contributed to the investment.

IBC operates an operational 50 MW facility in South Korea and aims to build a 2 GW lithium-ion factory in Bengaluru, which is expected to commence production by 2025. The company aims to increase production in India to 10 GW by 2028.

The startup is building proprietary NMC (nickel, manganese, and cobalt) cells, which it claims will reduce battery complexity due to the large form factor, have 40% higher energy density than LFP (lithium, iron, phosphate) cells, and will be recyclable – making them suitable for electric vehicles.

It also claims that its batteries are well-suited for India’s climate and can operate safely in high temperatures.

The startup has focused its product development on batteries for two and three-wheelers, light commercial vehicles, and farm and industrial equipment targeting the small mobility sector.

Prices of lithium-ion battery packs have dropped by 14% to a record low of $139/kWh last year due to falling raw material and component prices. The prices dropped even as production capacity increased across all parts of the battery value chain.

Prices have been on a downward trajectory, causing demand growth to fall short of some industry expectations. BNEF expects battery prices to drop further in 2024 when lithium prices are likely to ease as more extraction and refining capacity come online.

Average pack prices are expected to fall as low as below $100/kWh by 2026. The below $100/kWh mark is two years later than previous expectations.

The cumulative lithium-ion battery capacity is likely to rise over five-fold to 5,500 GWh between 2021 and 2030, keeping in count the various pipeline capacities announced to meet the rising demand for batteries, according to Wood Mackenzie, a global research and consultancy firm.