Battery start-up BTRY raises CHF 900,000 in pre-seed funding for the development of an innovative solid-state battery 

January 18, 2024

  • The battery start-up is developing safe, long-lasting thin-film solid-state batteries that can be charged and discharged in one minute. 
  • BTRY receives CHF 900,000 from High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) and Zürcher Kantonalbank. 
  • BTRY will use the funding to produce a first generation of products on a pilot line. 

Dübendorf, Switzerland, January 18, 2024 – Battery start-up BTRY has raised CHF 900,000 in pre-seed financing. The round is led by HTGF with participation from Zürcher Kantonalbank. The spin-off from Empa and ETH Zurich is developing a new type of lithium-ion thin-film solid-state battery that combines significant advantages for various commercial applications. 

Lithium-ion batteries are widely used, but they are not ideal for all applications. They are relatively slow to recharge, flammable and temperature sensitive. Empa researchers Dr. Moritz Futscher and Dr. Abdessalem Aribia are developing a new type of thin-film solid-state battery that can be charged and discharged in one minute, has a high energy density and delivers reliable energy even at extreme temperatures. Together with Dr. Yaroslav Romanyuk, head of Empa’s “Thin Films and Photovoltaics” laboratory, they founded the spin-off BTRY in 2023 to bring this technology to market. 

Until now, thin-film batteries could only store little energy. The founders have succeeded in stacking the thin-film cells, which are only a few micrometers thick, into more powerful batteries. They have developed a process that uses high-precision vacuum coating and no toxic solvents. The production uses advanced, but proven and scalable techniques to ensure efficiency and quality. 

The applications for BTRY’s solution are diverse. They can be used in consumer electronics such as smartphones and smartwatches, as well as in sensors, robots, drones and satellites. 

BTRY founders Dr. Moritz Futscher and Dr. Abdessalem Aribia will use the new funds to produce the first battery cells on selected pilot lines. Customer feedback will be collected to iteratively improve the product and tailor it to the needs of the target group. 

This financing round, just eight months after the company was founded, is a significant milestone for us, and we are thrilled to have such great partners by our side. We are highly motivated to take the next steps together to make our vision a reality –  a sustainable solid-state battery that can be charged in just one minute.

Dr. Moritz Futscher, CEO and Co-Founder of BTRY

We are convinced that innovative battery concepts will play a decisive role in future product developments. BTRY’s material and process innovations promise to lead to an all-solid-state battery solution with highly interesting unique technological features that open up a wide range of applications. I am very much looking forward to working with the BTRY team and supporting the company in its upcoming growth phase.

Timo Bertsch, Investment Manager at HTGF 

Zürcher Kantonalbank provides innovative start-ups with venture capital. As one of the largest and most active investors in Switzerland, we have already supported over 280 start-ups with more than CHF 230 million in venture capital. With our investment in BTRY, we are investing in a well-established team with an innovative and promising battery technology. BTRY’s pitch also convinced the jury of the Büro Züri Innovationspark (made possible by Zürcher Kantonalbank) and provides the young start-up with attractive workplaces, a network of experts, free coaching from industry experts and access to potential investors.

Florian Dünner, Investment Manager Zürcher Kantonalbank 

Founded in April 2023, the company and its founders have already received several prestigious awards and funding, including a BRIDGE grant for Futscher, the Empa Entrepreneur Fellowship for Aribia, admission to the Swiss Business Incubator of the European Space Agency (ESA BIC), Initial and Core Coaching from Innosuisse, and the first two Venture Kick stages. 

BTRY founders: from left Dr. Moritz Futscher, Dr. Abdessalem Aribia and Dr. Yaroslav Romanyuk (Picture: BTRY)

About BTRY  
BTRY AG, a Swiss battery start-up and spin-off from Empa and ETH Zurich, aims to revolutionize energy storage with its fast-charging Li-ion solid-state battery. The innovation lies in the stacking of thin-film batteries, which enables fast charging with high energy density. The technology uses environmentally friendly manufacturing processes, is solvent-free and suitable for various applications such as IoT, consumer electronics and aerospace. 

Moritz Futscher, CEO   

About Zürcher Kantonalbank  
Zürcher Kantonalbank (ZKB) is an independent public-law institution of the Canton of Zurich, incorporated under the laws of the Canton of Zürich. Its registered corporate domicile and principal place of business is in Zurich, Switzerland. It has received top ratings from the rating agencies Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch (AAA/Aaa). With more than 6,000 employees across the group, Zürcher Kantonalbank offers its clients a comprehensive range of products and services. The bank’s core activities include financing businesses, asset and wealth management, trading, capital market transactions, deposits, payment transactions and card business. Zürcher Kantonalbank provides clients and distribution partners with a comprehensive range of investment and retirement provision products and services. 

About High-Tech Gründerfonds   
The seed investor High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) finances tech start-ups with growth potential and has supported more than 700 start-ups since 2005. With the launch of its fourth fund, HTGF now has about 1.4 billion euros under management. Its team of experienced investment managers and start-up experts support young companies with expertise, entrepreneurial spirit and passion. HTGF’s focus is on high-tech start-ups in the fields of digital tech, industrial tech, life sciences, chemistry and related business areas. To date, external investors have injected about 5 billion euros of capital into the HTGF portfolio via more than 2,000 follow-on financing rounds. In addition, HTGF has already successfully sold shares in more than 170 companies.  

Fund investors in this public-private partnership include the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, KfW Capital and 45 companies from a wide range of industries. 

Media contact 
Tobias Jacob, Senior Marketing & Communications Manager   
T.: +49 228 – 82300 121  

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