Finnish startup Geyser Batteries is poised to manufacture water-based, non-lithium batteries that have the potential to revolutionize the field.
The evolution of smart energy is picking up momentum. As renewables are becoming more and more mainstream all over the world, the attention turns to large-scale energy storage: how to make batteries that are eco-friendly, effective and safe.
With this in mind, a company by the name of Geyser Batteries was founded in October 2018. Geyser Batteries is a Finnish cleantech startup that develops and manufactures a new class of high-power, non-lithium batteries using electrolytes based on water instead of toxic and flammable organic solvent.
The batteries designed and manufactured by the startup are capable of over one million fast charging cycles even at ultra-low ambient temperatures. Thanks to the use of aqueous electrolytes and novel electrochemistry, Geyser Batteries’ products have nearly-zero carbon footprint.
Battery Meets Supercapacitor
Andrey Shigaev, CEO of Geyser Batteries, explains that the aim of the company is to build high-performance, sustainable electrification solutions for the mobility sector that are not flammable as traditional batteries tend to be.
“In addition, we want to design grid-scale energy storage systems with long service life and ultra-low carbon footprint,” he says.
According to Shigaev, the heart of Geyser Batteries’ innovation lies in a successful combination of a battery and a supercapacitor in one single electrochemical system. Without involving any elements of Li-ion technology, Geyser has developed a completely new energy storage mechanism that combines the best of the two: with the energy density close to high-power modifications of Li-ion batteries, Geyser Batteries’ products keep working up to 10-100 times longer with high-power characteristics kept stable over time, making them ideal for hybrid powertrains and long-term heavy-duty power grid systems.
Cleared for Launch!
Geyser Batteries has ambitious plans – and it’s now going through some exciting times as the company is gearing towards production start.
“We are finishing the development of the ‘heart’ of our production line, which is an automated cells assembly machine that is really unique to the bipolar design that we employ for making our products,” Shigaev explains.
By the end of summer 2021, the goal is to fully equip the entire production line and kick off automated production. “We’re making the transition from a tech company to a product company,” he says.
So far, Shigaev – a Russian native – has been very impressed by the Finnish Smart Energy ecosystem – as well as the Finnish society at large.
“When you look at places like Vaasa and Helsinki, it is clear that there’s a big focus on sustainability that is great for startups,” he says. While founded in Vaasa, Geyser Batteries soon established an office in Helsinki – at Maria 01 startup hub – for “obvious” reasons.
When you look at places like Vaasa and Helsinki, it is clear that there’s a big focus on sustainability that is great for startups,”
Andrey Shigaev, Geyser Batteries
“For business development, you just need to be in Helsinki,” Shigaev says, crediting Helsinki Business Hub and Business Finland for a smooth entry into the local ecosystem.
Eye on the Money
In November 2019, Geyser Batteries completed a €1M investment round led by Voima Ventures. The funding was largely needed to develop the automated assembly machine of the production line – but also to further expand Geyser Batteries’ product offering and boost trials and product development with its B2B customers.
“That round was an important milestone for us. We’re now looking to raise the next round and complete our production line.”
Being part of the Smart Energy Revolution, Shigaev and his team – now featuring 25 professionals – believe that they’ve only scratched the surface of the business potential out there.
“There’s still a long way to go, but the way we generate and use renewable energy is now changing tremendously and storage is the key to the future,” he says, expecting that a number of new innovations will hit the market in the years to come.
“What all industry players need to do now is to be forward-thinking enough.”
First Startup Permit
“It was a really smooth process and helped us get things going”
Andrey Shigaev, Geyser Batteries
Shigaev ended up in Finland, since he became the first entrepreneur to receive the Finnish Startup Permit. Established by Business Finland and the Finnish Immigration Service in 2018, the new application process was designated for start-up entrepreneurs coming to Finland from outside the European Union. In Shigaev’s case, he was already engaged in talks with Business Finland when he heard about the Permit Program and decided to apply.
“It was a really smooth process and helped us get things going,” he says.
After two years, there’s still one thing he wonders about, however:
“Finnish language. It can be so hard to figure out – and when all Finns talk English, I don’t get much practice,” he laughs.
Geyser Batteries develops and manufactures a new class of sustainable and safe high-power batteries for high cycling and heavy duty applications in transportation-, heavy machinery-, marine- and grid sectors.