ITOCHU Announces 24M Technologies, Inc. becomes an equity method affiliate

May 18, 2021

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter "ITOCHU") announced today it has acquired new shares as lead investor in a Series E private placement conducted by 24M Technologies, Inc (headquartered in Massachusetts, USA; Naoki Ota, President & CEO; hereinafter "24M"), a company developing and commercializing the SemiSolid lithium-ion battery technology. Other investors in the round included the “Mirai Creation Fund II” operated by SPARX Group Co., Ltd. Through this investment, 24M became ITOCHU’s equity method affiliate, and the companies will jointly promote the global manufacturing of SemiSolid lithium-ion batteries.

24M has developed and is now commercializing the SemiSolid battery technology that outperforms conventional lithium-ion batteries with regard to safety, energy density, recyclability, and manufacturing cost. 24M’s proprietary and patented SemiSolid technology reduces the number of manufacturing steps and greatly simplifies the manufacturing process of lithium-ion batteries, thereby substantially reducing the capital and operating costs while simultaneously improving battery performance, recyclability and safety.

24M has licensed the technology to several manufacturing partners, including Kyocera Corporation who started commercial production in 2020, Global Power Synergy PCL (GPSC) in Thailand who is building a mass production plant that is expected to begin commercial production in 2021, and FREYR AS in Norway.

Currently, the demand for lithium-ion batteries is rapidly increasing due to the growing demand for electric vehicles (EV) and grid storage. In addition, Europe’s new guidelines for the reuse of a certain rare earth metals such as nickel, cobalt and lithium, in the production of lithium-ion batteries will be introduced by 2030.

In order to meet the growing demand for batteries in the world and to establish a circular system for reusing rare earth metals in lithium-ion batteries, ITOCHU will further expand 24M's license business for the production of SemiSolid lithium-ion batteries on a global scale, and will expand its battery manufacturing business with local partners in demand areas, including the supply of battery materials and manufacturing equipment, and the development of recycling and reuse businesses.

ITOCHU is engaged in the battery business mainly in Japan, and has deployed a cumulative total of approximately 43,000 units (430 MWh) of energy storage systems as of the end of March, 2021. In Japan, ITOCHU is jointly operating the energy storage battery manufacturing company, NF Blossom Technologies, Inc., with NF Corporation.

Overseas, ITOCHU has invested in Eguana Technologies, Inc, a Canadian inverter manufacturer for energy storage, and is expanding its storage battery business targeting overseas markets such as the U.S., Europe and Australia. Through the investment in 24M, ITOCHU will secure stable procurement of lithium-ion batteries, a key component of energy storage systems.

ITOCHU will contribute to the realization of a decarbonized society and a decentralized energy society by improving the expertise in the battery business, which has been developed over the years, together with 24M. Through the energy storage battery business, ITOCHU will continue to take on the challenge of creating new value and a new eco-system and circular economy beyond the boundaries of industries and products.

Outline of 24M

Company name 24M Technologies, Inc.
Establishment 2010
Headquarter Cambridge, Massachusetts
President & CEO Naoki Ota
Employees 68(4 Board members)

24M’s SemiSolid battery