Sept 20 (Reuters) - Enovix, a Silicon Valley firm developing new battery technology for consumer electronics such as mobile phones, said on Wednesday it has acquired Korean battery maker RouteJade in a cash-and-stock deal.
Enovix said it paid $16.5 million in cash and 6.2 million shares of common stock for RouteJade, which had previously been a supplier to Enovix. Enovix Chief Executive Raj Talluri told Reuters that the deal will help Fremont, California-based Enovix vertically integrate its battery manufacturing operations as it scales up a factory in Malaysia next year.
With the deal, "we are able to really take advantage of all the new materials coming out and quickly run them through R&D and manufacturing, so we can change our battery composition quickly," Talluri said. "That's been one of the slower parts of the battery industry."
Enovix is developing a technology that can replace part of a battery called an anode, traditionally made out of graphite, with silicon instead. The swap gives batteries more energy density, which can help them either last longer or supply more power to computing chips for functions such artificial intelligence.
Enonvix is working with Android phone makers Xiaomi , Lenovo Group, Oppo and Vivo. Talluri said the company is targeting mass production of batteries by the first half of 2025 and that its Malaysian factory would eventually have capacity to make about 36 million batteries a year.
(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco Editing by Matthew Lewis)