Thin Film Battery Maker Planar Energy Devices Raising $12M

Energy storage and batteries are constantly named as the pressure points of the power grid, our gadgets and the next-generation of electric vehicles — which is why many young startups are hard at work on new innovations. Planar Energy Devices, which was spun out of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) last year, is working on thin-film and large format batteries that the company says can charge in seconds, have a high energy density, last 400 to 500 life cycles, and are safer than traditional lithium-ion batteries.
Scott Faris, Planar’s founder and CEO, who described himself as an entrepreneur that does spin-outs, said at the Dow Jones Alternative Energy conference this week that the company is looking to raise $12 million in a Series B round of funding, which he hopes to close in the first quarter of 2009. After that the company is shooting for a Series C round of about $20 million by the fourth quarter of 2010, and potentially an exit by 2012. Planar has already raised $4 million from Battelle Ventures and Innovation Valley Partners.
The Orlando, Fla.-based company has one technology, which it plans to use for three types of applications: PowerPlane, which is micro battery applications; PowerCore, which is mid-sized; and PowerBlade, which is large battery applications. Planar is planning to have its first products — military applications and smart card technology — bringing in revenue in 2009 and starting volume production in 2010.