Romeo Power, packed with former employees from Tesla and other tech giants, is drawing a sizable amount of venture capital in its drive to challenge bigger energy storage pioneers.
The Southern California startup announced it has attracted $30 million in seed financing, which follows a $5 million round of early investment. The large-scale fiscal injection came as Romeo Power completes its 113,000 square-foot manufacturing site near downtown Los Angeles.
Romeo is ramping production of its lithium-ion battery packs for electric vehicle (EV) and stationary storage applications. The modular battery packs—comprised of cylindrical lithium-ion cells—can be used in cars, power sport vehicles, motorcycles, trucks, buses, and forklifts, according to the company release. The trademarked PowerStack stationary storage pack can be used by businesses to store electricity during off-peak hours.
Romeo Power says it has gained $65 million in initial orders since kicking off its sales effort this year. Those contracts and design agreements span U.S. and European automakers, manufacturers of motorcycles and forklifts, industrial players such as power designers and robotics companies, according to the release.
“We’ve seen incredible momentum in a short period, and we’re scaling manufacturing as fast as we can to meet demand,” said Michael Patterson, Romeo Power founder and CEO (pictured in thumbnail). “There’s a massive market opportunity for energy storage technologies.”
Romeo Power has employees who previously worked for Tesla, SpaceX, Apple, Amazon and Samsung, began selling its packs several months ago. It has gone into production even before Tesla’s highly publicized factory is completed, according to a previous article by Forbes.
The automakers who have contracted with Romeo Power have not been identified. The company was founded by Patterson two years ago, and Chief Technology Officer Porter Harris was previously an engineer at SpaceX—developing the technology that powers SpaceX’s F9 rocket—and with EV startup Faraday Future.
The EV market alone is expected to reach $32 billion by 2020, according to reports. And recent government mandates around the world to eliminate gas cars are accelerating demand for advanced lithium-ion battery packs.
“Romeo Power’s pack technology platform delivers on all of these requirements better than any other battery pack available today,” said Patterson.
The company’s fully automated 113,000 square-foot manufacturing facility is on track to be completed by the end of the year. Romeo Power designs, engineers, tests, and produces all of its lithium-ion battery packs on-site.