As we approach the Small Cap Awards, due to take place on 25th June, Master Investor profiles some of the companies shortlisted. Ilika has been shortlisted for the Impact Company of the Year award.
- Please provide a brief description of the business
Founded in the University of Southampton in 2004 and listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2010, Ilika plc is a pioneering designer and manufacturer of solid-state batteries of multiple sizes and purposes, including Industrial IoT (IIoT), MedTech and EVs. These state-of-the-art solid-state batteries are a significant disruptor to the battery industry, outclassing the previous generation of lithium ion batteries. Our miniature solid-state Stereaxä battery technology is currently manufactured at pilot scale in Southampton and the company is investing in the transfer of the technology to a third-party manufacturing facility.
Our batteries stand out for several reasons; charging 6x faster, with twice the energy density and 10x the energy retention. The batteries’ applications are also broader than their incumbents, as they lack non-toxic liquids, reducing the risk of potential leakages. This enables our batteries to venture into uses such as in-vivo MedTech and wind turbine monitoring applications.
- 2019/20 was clearly a strong year for the company, to what do you attribute your success?
Our success this year was due to multiple reasons. We have successfully launched our large-format Goliath programme in a purpose-built development facility, to meet the growing demand for safe and reliable high-performance batteries for Electric Vehicles. We have been supported in the EV market during the period through grants of c. £5m from the Faraday Battery Challenge, administered by Innovate UK. This funding is supporting Ilika’s involvement in three EV battery projects with leading automotive companies including Jaguar Land Rover, Honda, Ricardo and McLaren.
We also committed further to invest in the development of a 3rd party fabrication facility, granting a near-term focus on developing solid-state batteries for the IIoT and MedTech devices such as pacemakers and augmented contact lenses. The development of our MedTech focus has also been seen in the innovation of our family of battery products, introducing the Stereax M50; a miniature solid-state battery designed to fit the needs of the rapidly evolving MedTech world.
A further testament to our success and the investment community’s continued confidence in our work, has been the successful oversubscribed placing of shares in March 2020, raising c. £15m.
- How would you characterise the long-term drivers for your business?
Our long-term mission is to rapidly develop a leading-edge IP, while also manufacturing and selling solid-state batteries for high-performance applications.
We aim to continue developing our pilot lines for our family of batteries to establish ourselves as a leader in the development of manufacturing methods for solid-state batteries. At the same time, we aim to continue entering into joint development or licensing agreements with large multinational companies. The IIoT is rapidly growing and our Stereax miniature batteries can address this segment for this market. We expect to see Stereax push the Company through to profitability and start to generate positive cash flows for Ilika as the Goliath batteries initially are adopted into domestic appliances and ultimately EVs.