LONDON Ė GSR Ventures has led a $125-million investment round in Boston-Power Inc., Massachusetts startup that has made progress in developing longer lasting, faster charging lithium-ion batteries aimed mainly at automotive applications. The company has raised at $320 million since its founding in 2005.
Boston-Power (Westborough, Mass.) said it now plans focus its activities on China and will use the money to build a manufacturing facility there that will be capable of producing 400 megawatt hours (MWh) of lithium-ion battery cells annually by the end of 2012.
The $125 million funding includes private equity investment and support from China where, in addition to a manufacturing plant Boston-Power plans to put down R&D and electric vehicle battery engineering facilities.
Boston-Power said its strategy is now to focus predominantly on China in both the immediate and long term as China represents the biggest market for clean technology and energy storage products. As a result of this strategy it would be "reallocating its global resources."
This includes moving a number of positions and responsibilities from Westborough to China, Boston-Power said. The team in Westborough retains "responsibility for intellectual property development, research and development, global customer support, sales and business development and partnerships with advanced research organizations in the Boston area."
As part of the deal GSR Ventures managing director Sonny Wu will take up the post of chairman.
"Innovation in energy storage is redefining whole industries and allowing us to rethink what's possible for transportation, utilities, consumer electronics and countless other sectors," said Boston-Power founder Christina Lampe-Onnerud.
Boston-Power is a member of the Silicon 60, EE Times' list of emerging startups. Boston-Power was included in the list at version 8.0 in February 2009.
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