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Friday, September 10, 2010

GM Ventures Makes Strategic Investment in Sakti3

Sakti3, Inc., an Ann Arbor-based developer of next-generation lithium-ion batteries, today announced the investment of $4.2M by General Motors Ventures and Itochu Technology Ventures to advance the firm’s manufacturing capabilities. The companies also plan to work together to speed commercialization of Sakti3 battery cells. The two, new strategic investors join previous investors Khosla Ventures and Beringea.

“These investments by General Motors Ventures and Itochu Technology Ventures bring us not only capital, but partnerships that will speed our commercialization efforts,” said Dr. Ann Marie Sastry, CEO of Sakti3. “Our product planning in the automotive and portables sectors will be accelerated by working with these two preeminent firms. The General Motors agreement partners us with a company that is clearly a global leader in vehicle electrification. Itochu Technology Ventures has a strong focus on energy technologies, and on growth markets in Asia. We’re very pleased to have engaged investors who will help us purposefully and quickly create our target products and address key regional markets.”

"GM Ventures is making strategic investments in new technology to support our core automotive business," said Jon Lauckner, president GM Ventures, LLC. "Our objective is to identify start-up companies that offer the best future technology for our vehicles, including next generation propulsion systems. In this case, our investment in Sakti3 gives us access to an innovative battery technology that has the potential to be a mainstream solution for electrically-driven cars and trucks of the future."

“Today’s announcement is the latest piece of strong evidence that many U.S. companies, and especially Michigan companies, are thriving as the auto industry moves toward a future of technologically advanced energy-efficient vehicles, said Senator Carl Levin (D-MI). “The investment in Sakti3’s lithium ion technology by GM is a major additional step forward. Sakti3’s solid-state advanced lithium ion battery technology offers tremendous potential for powering the next generation of electric drive vehicles in the U.S. and around the world. ”

Regrowth of manufacturing in Michigan is a high priority in the State. Said Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), “As we grow America's auto industry, Sakti3 is a great example of how we can bring together our expertise in manufacturing and academia to create new opportunities and new jobs. I am pleased to partner with Sakti3, and I look forward to seeing the results of this new partnership with GM.”

Sakti3 was awarded a $3 million grant from The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) in 2009 and has been designated as a State of Michigan Center of Energy Excellence (CoEE) in partnership with the University of Michigan.

"Sakti3 is an exciting, next-generation battery company with cutting-edge technology and a brilliant team," said Governor Jennifer M. Granholm. "We're thrilled that Sakti3, one of our Centers of Energy Excellence, has chosen Michigan as the place to bring its breakthrough technology to scale."

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