BMW i Ventures announced today an investment in CelLink, a San Carlos, CA-based manufacturer of flexible circuit technology that delivers high-conductance, large-area, lightweight, and low-cost flexible circuits through a proprietary combination of manufacturing processes, designs, and materials.
The new funding is aimed at ramping up production of large-area flexible circuits for power and data transmission.
“We believe CelLink’s technology will transform wire harnessing from an ‘old school’, simple technology to a more advanced, integrated, multi-purpose, flexible circuit technology with more functionality and lower cost. Automotive wiring is finally becoming high tech,” stated Marcus Behrendt, Partner at BMW i Ventures.
The new funding will support CelLink’s operations as it scales up existing production contracts and transitions several projects into full-scale production. CelLink will continue to ramp production in its first manufacturing facility through 2019, and the company intends to bring a new production facility online in the 2020-21 timeframe to meet additional demand.
“CelLink was founded eight years ago on the premise of providing interconnect solutions to the solar industry. We are thrilled that the core innovations that we developed have evolved into a new type of flexible circuit that addresses the growing challenges of vehicle wiring and light-weighting, battery wiring, and energy-efficient lighting applications,” commented CEO and co-founder Kevin Coakley. “These industries are huge, and they require significant technological advances for the world to achieve a state of sustainable energy production and consumption,” Coakley added.
In the long-term, CelLink expects that its technology will scale well-beyond the company’s initial markets. The company has already received strong interest in adapting its technology for use in aerospace and commercial vehicles.
BMW i Ventures, BMW’s EUR 500 million venture capital fund, invests money and resources in startups in the fields of autonomous driving, digital car and automotive cloud, e-mobility, artificial Intelligence and data, industry 4.0, shared and on-demand mobility, customer digital life, and energy services.
BMW i Ventures has already entered into strategic partnerships with innovative providers such as Scoop, Zirx, RiceCell, Chargepoint, Life360, Moovit, JustPark, DSP Concepts, Chargemaster, Zendrive, Rever Moto, STRIVR, Desktop Metal, BUS.com, Proterra, Xometry, Caroobi, GaN Systems, Shift, May Mobility, Blackmore Sensors and Analytics, Vera, Mapillary, Claroty, Graphcore, Tekion, Yellowbrick Data, Recogni, Cartica AI and Trifacta.
BMW i Ventures invests in all stages from seed to growth companies.