6K raises $51M to accelerate advanced battery material development and global expansion of additive manufacturing powders
6K, a developer of microwave plasma technology for the production of advanced materials for energy storage and additive manufacturing powders (earlier post), closed a $51M Series C financing round. With this investment, 6K will complete its Battery Development Center of Excellence, adding 33,000 sq ft of state-of-the-art product development space and doubling its 6K Energy team.
Funding will also enable a tripling of production capacity for 3D metal powders at its 6K Additive division, increase the portfolio of powder product offerings, and expand its commercial sales activities globally. The financing round was led by Volta Energy Technologies, joined by new investors Catalus Capital and S Cap/Prithvi Ventures, and existing investors Anzu Partners, Launch Capital, Material Impact, and RKS Ventures.
6K’s mission is to provide a solution for global decarbonization in the production of performance materials, critical to manufacturing and production infrastructure. The UniMelt plasma production system is a high-volume production process, producing advanced performance materials in as little as two seconds versus two-three days.
The UniMelt system displaces legacy manufacturing approaches with a lower-cost, smaller footprint production technology, providing a path to meeting the cost demands the market requires.
6K’s UniMelt platform offers multifaceted sustainability benefits. As an example, if a legacy battery cathode production plant was replaced with 6K’s UniMelt platform, 100% of solid waste and wastewater would be eliminated, energy usage and greenhouse gas generation would be reduced by up to 70%, and water usage would be decreased by 90%, the company said.
The UniMelt production process can produce products as varied as batteries materials for electric vehicles, semiconductor materials, 3D printing powders, phosphors, advanced ceramics, and electronic materials, and more.
6K will be using the proceeds of the financing to expand product development and commercial activities across its multiple divisions:
6K ADDITIVE: 6K is the only premium metal powder supplier for 3D printing produced from sustainable sources, targeting the commercial space, medical, and industrial sectors. Following the commissioning of its 45-acre ISO9001 24/7 powder production operations in 2020, 6K will now expand production with an additional 600 tons/year and set up sales and distribution in Europe and Asia.
6K ENERGY: 6K has announced its intent to invest $25 million over 24 months in its Battery Development Center of Excellence, enabling unique business models with partners for rapid product development and deployment. The Center will be fully capable of pilot production with UniMelt capacity equivalent of 400 MWh. 6K is currently sampling customers, and developing products across NMC cathode, LFP, silicon-dominant anode, lithium, solid-state electrolyte, and recycled cathode materials.
6K FUTURE MATERIALS: 6K, in response to demand from companies across the performance materials spectrum, will invest in the identification and development of performance and electronic materials that can be produced cost-effectively and sustainably with its UniMelt plasma production system. 6K has established an advanced R&D team for the development of performance materials including those for applications ranging from semiconductors to electronic packaging to bio-ceramics to name just a few.