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New Orleans Tech Startup Advano Raises $18.5 Million

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News Article

Rich Collins
February 5, 2020

Originally posted on
Biz New Orleans

The Big Easy is getting an infusion of Silicon Valley glamor and money thanks to … silicon.

Local business boosters cheered when news broke last month that upstart tech company Advano – founded by New Orleanian Alexander Girau – had raised $18.5 million to fund efforts to create a patented form of powdered silicon that will improve the performance of the lithium-ion batteries that power everything from your neighbor’s brand-new Tesla to the iPhone in your pocket.

Observers are especially excited by the sources of the capital. The list of “rock star” investors includes Tony Fadell, the inventor known as the “father of the iPod,” and Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of Paypal. Another player is business accelerator Y Combinator, which launched Airbnb, Dropbox and several other major tech companies.

These speculators are getting involved because batteries are becoming more and more essential to our daily lives and they believe Advano can make them better … a lot better.

“Lithium-ion batteries are the key to electronics,” said Girau. “Everything you touch has a battery in it. We touch at least eight batteries a day … and that’s gonna increase over the next five years.

“If the number of lithium batteries is going to go up then the power of those batteries and the amount of material in those batteries is going to go up – but the problem is batteries are pretty much tapped out.”

(Read the full article on Biz New Orleans)