Making Batteries Intelligent
Why we invested in ACCURE Battery Intelligence
The past 10 years can be called the inception of a battery-based society. Everything is powered by mobile energy storages — from laptops, to phones, to home storages charging a car. While these examples come from our everyday-lives, the meta-move to renewable energy by governments around the globe also requires more and more energy storage opportunities as well — because batteries can store energy from on-peak renewable energy and release it when it is more needed in central, decentralised and off-grid situations.
So, we all live in a world with more and more batteries. But what do we know about them? Not much, except for the fact that they age. And this fact points to the problem we are going to face: over time the storage capacity decreases. So does the performance and stability of all devices and services associated with them. Thinking of a 1990s Classic GameBoy an empty battery meant horror — but picturing an EV-ambulance car breaking down on the sideway becomes a real threat. So, what do we do about aging? We need to constantly measure it, need to be able to anticipate it and eventually act on it.
There are four main drivers why this is very difficult:
Constant change of energy storage technology: Every year battery cells get updated and systems change accordingly. New cell types allow for smaller cell-sizes and more sustainable resources being used — this is why you need a flexible and fully virtual method of measuring aging.
Performance data reliability: Voltage, current, temperature have to be measured for every battery system. Because systems are distributed and interfaces are error-prone — this is why you need to be a data expert to clean-up and aggregate data.
Drawing the right conclusions: Because each system has individual data outputs dependent on differences in material and architecture the definite analysis of the data is hard — this is why you need expertise in the various applications of battery systems.
Enabling engineers to optimize and change battery systems: Each insight from data has to result in an action. To enhance battery life through battery control an engineer has to be able to work with the data on individual systems — this is why you need to address engineers as your users.
Because battery technology as well as underlying R&D is innovated in such a fast pace, there is a huge need to work with data collected from the systems directly — this is Accure’s focus and the core of their IP: The platform uses existing laboratory and operational data to accurately determine and forecast the health of batteries — all of this fully virtual and at the lowest cost base possible with the ACCURE Battery Intelligence Platform.
Being the virtual lab for energy storage vendors like the premium home storage company E3/DC, the company enables customers with its battery-cell-agnostic way of measuring and visualizing data. With the onboarding of new battery systems, the technology of ACCURE improves with every Watt-Hour in the cloud. Data-insights can be generated and conclusions can be made by the customers themselves. Finally, the ACCURE product is tailored to engineers at the intersection of data science and battery management.
With ACCURE’s software, customers can manage, analyze and optimize battery systems. The company’s vision is to enable optimization based on data to create a sustainable and profitable use of batteries. The team already gained customers, prospects and partners from all its target verticals: Electric Vehicles (EVs, can be personal cars or trucks, trains or ships), Home Storage Systems (sometimes called residential storage systems) and Large-Scale Battery Storage (sometimes called utility-scale storage systems) — and there is more to come!
The Aachen-based team combines deep know how in energy storage systems as well as data science. Kai-Philipp, Georg and Hanno got their PhDs at the RWTH Aachen, Germany, within Europe’s largest research group on battery storage stems.
The founding team has been researching and working on an international level in the field of battery management for many years. In addition to many publications, the team has advised numerous companies and government agencies. They also brought an experienced CFO to the company early on: Peter Romanowski, former CFO of German storage company QINOUS, brings 25 years of hands-on experience in financing and impact investing to the team and complements their expertise.
What also impressed us about the founding team was that all three of them are involved in competitive sports. As investors, we naturally ask ourselves again and again what qualities a team of founders should have. Of course they should have domain expertise in their market. As technical founders, they should be able to master the technology and thus build a scalable solution. But to build a successful startup requires much more. From our perspective, it also requires to be driven, have a killer instinct (in a positive way), stay focused and never give up. Starting a start-up means being able to deal with defeats and successes, always being prepared, and being able to deliver 100% performance in the decisive moments — these are parallels to competitive sports.
For Kai-Philipp, Georg and Hanno it is a big step to leave research to bring their ideas, knowledge and experience to the market. We are very thrilled to support the three founders — with our fellow co-investor 42CAP — and the entire ACCURE team on their way.