Britishvolt kicks off funding round with $54 million from Glencore

FILE PHOTO: Britishvolt executive chairman Peter Rolton at the site of the company's planned battery plant, in Blyth

By Nick Carey

LONDON (Reuters) - Electric vehicle (EV) battery startup Britishvolt said on Tuesday it will launch a Series C funding round with a starting investment of 40 million pounds ($54 million) from mining giant Glencore.

Britishvolt said it aims to raise around 200 million pounds in the funding round, some of which will go toward developing its planned battery factory in northern England and a research and development centre.

So far the company has raised around 100 million pounds.

The startup also said it has signed agreements with four carmakers with cumulative battery demand in 2024 and 2025 of 7 gigawatt hours (GWh) for its battery plant in Blyth.

So far Britishvolt has only publicly announced British carmaker Lotus as a customer.

Last month Britishvolt secured UK government backing for the Blyth project, unlocking 1.7 billion pounds ($2.30 billion) in private funding.

When the 3.8 billion pound, 45 GWh plant is fully operational in 2027 it should be able to produce battery packs for over 450,000 EVs annually.

Last year Britishvolt and Glencore signed a long-term cobalt supply deal and the mining giant owns an undisclosed stake in the startup.

The two companies will also jointly develop a new UK battery recycling plant that will help reuse expensive key raw materials like cobalt and lithium.

Britishvolt said its latest fundraising round will be led by Bank of America, Citibank and investment bank Peel Hunt. Lazard will act as the company's financial advisor.

(This story was refiled to insert dropped number 7, in paragraph 4)

(Reporting By Nick Carey; Editing by David Gregorio)