Sectors & markets

Renault-backed Verkor secures €2bn to build gigafactory

The company expects this new gigafactory to be operational by 2025 and create thousands of jobs, while boosting Europe’s battery production.

French start-up Verkor has raised more than €2bn from multiple sources to boost its battery production operations.

The company raised €850m in a Series C funding round, along with €600m debt support from the European Investment Bank and French government subsidies of roughly €650m. Macquarie Asset Management was the lead investor of the Series C round, which included original backers such as Renault Group, EQT Ventures, EIT InnoEnergy and Sibanye-Stillwater.

The funding will be used to build Verkor’s first gigafactory, which will be located in Dunkirk. The factory is expected to be operational by 2025 and will create around 1,200 direct and 3,000 indirect jobs, according to Verkor. The factory is also expected to have an initial production capacity of 16 GWh per year.

Verkor specialises in developing low-carbon batteries for electric vehicles.

President of France Emmanuel Macron said the country has been focused on “an industrial reconquest” since 2017 and that this latest fundraise is a “bold sign of our ambition for reindustrialisation”.

“It also demonstrates the full coherence of our innovation policy at national and European level, with the support of everyone, investors, large companies and local territories,” Macron said.

The funding will also be used for technological developments at the Verkor Innovation Centre to boost the company’s manufacturing technologies.

Verkor CEO Benoit Lemaignan said the high-performance gigafactory will help to accelerate a responsible energy transition and “transport decarbonisation”.

“This global financing solidifies our long- term perspectives and with the renewed commitment of our existing partners, we are now on track to becoming one of the leading European battery manufacturers,” Lemaignan said.

An EU-funded project was announced earlier this year that aims to build up the continent’s battery supply chain and improve current technology.

This Gigabat project aims to increase Europe’s cell battery production capacity from 60 GWh to 900 GWh through the creation of multiple gigafactories. This target aims to meet EU 2030 targets, improve prosperity for the region and help the EU gain technological and industrial independence.


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