Efficient motor maker Infinitum raises $185 mln in round led by climate-focused fund
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Climate technology firm Infinitum, which develops high efficiency industrial motors, said on Wednesday it had raised $185 million in a funding round led by venture capital investor Just Climate.
Just Climate is focused on investing in areas such as industrials where it can be harder to eliminate climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions and that have historically received fewer investment dollars.
With the world not on track to meet a goal of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), finding ways to make existing processes more energy efficient is set to play a key role at the next round of climate talks in Dubai in November.
Unlike makers of traditional motors, which wrap copper wires around an iron core, Infinitum etches copper conductors into a circuit board, making it smaller, lighter and quieter, CEO Ben Schuler told Reuters.
That makes it especially desirable for dense work environments such as running fans in data centers.
The Infinitum motors can also work at variable speeds, helping account for a drop in energy consumption of about 10% to 65%, and the motors are relatively easy to fix and recycle, Schuler said.
The money raised will be used to help build out a second factory in Monterrey, Mexico, bolstering staff numbers from around 150 to around 225, and boosting output from 30,000 motors in 2023 to 150,000 by the end of 2024.
Texas-based Infinitum has about 100 patents and pending patents.
Just Climate Investment Partner Benoit Grobon said about half of the power from electric generation in the world goes into electric motors, and increasing their efficiency would save a lot of energy.
Moreover, electric motors used as generators could make windmills more efficient and improve the range of electric cars, he added.
Industrials account for around 34% of global emissions but investors gave just under 8% of startup funding to the sector in the 10 years to the third quarter of 2022, PwC said. That rose to 14% over the last year, PwC calculated.
Reporting by Simon Jessop and Peter Henderson; Editing by Jamie Freed