One To Watch: Competitor To Tesla's Ultracapacitor Company Raises $48M After Hinting At IPO

Skeleton Technologies is not a publicly traded company, but it's one to keep an eye on as it traverses territory partly claimed by Tesla Inc TSLA.

Next-Gen Battery Business: The Estonian maker of ultracapacitors, also called supercapacitors, completed a Series D round of funding this month, raising $48.1 million. It raised a combined $38.7 million in earlier rounds. The company was founded in 2009 and counts the European Investment Bank among its investors.

The company's website lists as competitors: St. Louis-based EaglePicher Technologies; Pennsylvania-based C&D Technologies; Germany-based IBC Solar; and, tantalizingly, Maxwell Technologies, which was bought by Tesla in 2019.

Maxwell also makes ultracapacitors, which hold the promise of delivering much greater energy density than batteries. This translates into longer driving ranges and faster charging times for electric vehicles.

Skeleton announced in October it had struck a deal with Wrightbus, a Northern Irish maker of buses power by hydrogen fuel cells.

In September, it announced that it is working with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany to develop a "SuperBattery." The company says this will use a "curved" form of the wonder-material graphene to combine the fast-charging qualities of supercapacitors with the storage capacity of batteries.

IPO Hints: When the company hired Wolfgang Breme as its new CFO last year, it touted the executive's IPO experience:

"His extensive experience at Aixtron, a TecDAXcompany with a market cap north of 1 billion euros, is an asset to Skeleton Technologies, with the rapidly growing ultracapacitor market providing an opportunity for a public listing in three to five years' time."

Alternately, Maxwell's experience with Tesla raises the possibility that Skeleton could be acquisition target of an EV maker as well.

Photo courtesy Skeleton Technologies

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