Lithium Battery Maker Boston Power Raises $125 Million

Boston Power, Inc., a maker of lithium-ion batteries, today announced $125 million in new funding because of its strategy to focus predominantly on China.

The Massachusetts-based comany plans to build a manufacturing facility in China that will be capable of producing 400 megawatt hours (MWh) of lithium-ion battery cells annually by the end of 2012.

In addition, the company will establish a R&D and EV battery engineering facility in China.

The Chinese government is providing a range of grants, low-interest loans and related financial and tax incentives.

The private equity portion of the funding round was led by GSR Ventures, which invests primarily in early stage and growth stage technology companies with substantial operations in China. GSR Ventures has offices in Beijing and Silicon Valley.

Existing investors Oak Investment Partners and Foundation Asset Management (FAM) also participated in the round.

Company headquarters in Westborough, Mass. will continue to support intellectual property development, research and development, global customer support, sales and business development and partnerships with advanced research organizations in the Boston area.

"China is building world-class companies in the clean technology space and is investing substantial amounts of resources and public policy to accomplish that goal," says GSR Ventures Managing Director Sonny Wu. "There is significant and rapidly expanding demand for Boston Power’s batteries here, as highlighted by the government’s unprecedented support for electric vehicles."

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