Dr. Steven Chu, Nobel laureate and former Secretary of Energy, has joined the Board of Directors of Amprius, a startup aiming to commercialize high-energy, high-capacity lithium-ion batteries. Chu said in a statement, “I look forward to advising Amprius’ development of silicon-based anodes, advanced cathodes, and next-generation batteries.”
Amprius recently won $30M in funding for its lithium-ion batteries from investors including Trident Capital, VantagePoint Capital Partners, IPV Capital, KPCB, Chinergy Capital, SAIF Partners, Google Chairman Dr. Eric Schmidt, and Stanford University. Total VC funding for the startup exceeds $60 million.
Late last year, Vancouver-based Inventys Thermal Technologies, a VC-funded carbon capture technology firm, also added Chu to its Board of Directors. Dr. Chu is currently the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University. He won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1997.
SolarCity (SCTY) just acquired privately held financial technology firm Common Assets and announced that it will now offer a web-based investment platform to allow “individuals and organizations” to invest in solar projects. Tim Newell, financial products expert and CEO of Common Assets, will join SolarCity as VP of financial products. John Witchel, chief architect of the company (and former CTO of Prosper Marketplace, a person-to-person online lending marketplace), joins SolarCity as senior technology architect for financial products.