French battery maker Verkor scores $2.1B to build gigafactory

Another day, another monster raise for an EV battery company.

This time it's Verkor, the Renault-backed French battery builder, which said on Thursday that it secured "more than €2 billion" — roughly $2.1 billion USD — to speed up construction of its Dunkirk gigafactory. Verkor produces pouch and cylindrical battery modules for electric vehicles and energy-storage sites.

The huge sum includes an €850 million Series C funding round as well as €600 million in loans from the EU's European Investment Bank, Verkor explained in a statement. The $2.15 billion figure also counts €650 million in yet-to-be-approved French subsides, pending a final OK from the European Commission.

Australian asset manager Macquarie, French infrastructure investor Meridiam and Renault participated in the Series C, among other investors. Verkor claimed it's the "largest equity raise" to date for a French startup, though at this size the company is clearly taking some liberties with its use of the term "startup."

In the same statement, the company quoted President Emmanuel Macron, who called the deal a "bold sign of our ambition for reindustrialisation."

Other recent noteworthy deals for battery firms include Ascend Elements’ $542 million raise and Lyten's $200 million round.