GWH stock exploded more than 97% higher on October 12, 2021.
Pangaea Ventures Ltd. (Pangaea) announced today that its portfolio company, ESS, Inc. (“ESS Inc.”, “ESS” or the “Company”), has begun trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol GWH. ESS designs, builds, and deploys clean, low-cost, long-duration energy storage systems with a mission to catalyze a sustainable energy future.
Based in Portland, Oregon, ESS has commercialized its unique iron-based flow battery, an environmentally benign, long-life energy storage solution for the world’s rapidly growing renewable energy infrastructure.
The need to increase the power grid’s resiliency is a top priority as renewable energy deployment ramps up, increasing the demand for long-duration storage systems. ESS’ innovative iron flow battery technology is solving a key global issue in renewable energy storage, offering long-duration storage that’s safe, sustainable, flexible, and low cost. The transition to a strongly capitalized public company will enable ESS to rapidly scale its manufacturing capacity, grow its sales footprint, and better serve its customers, such as Enel Green Power and SB Energy. ESS recently announced an agreement with SB Energy to install 2 GWH of energy storage capacity over the coming years.
“ESS is an excellent example of our strategy of investing in mission-driven entrepreneurs using hard tech to solve the world’s greatest challenges,” said Andrew Haughian, General Partner of Pangaea Ventures. “Right from the beginning, we believed that long-duration energy storage would be required for deep renewable penetration and that ESS had the best solution. With the market expanding faster than expected, we believe this is an excellent time for the company to be introduced to a broader investor base.”
“Pangaea Ventures was the first investor in our company to see the massive need for long-duration storage while also sharing our belief in the iron flow platform’s potential to address that need,” said Craig Evans, Co-Founder, and President of ESS. “Even before they wrote their first check, they have been invaluable partners in our success with their support on fundraising, hiring, and other company-building activities that have been necessary to get us to the point where we are at today.”
Pangaea Ventures led ESS’s Series A round in 2015 with a valuation of less than $10M. Since then, Pangaea Ventures has supported several subsequent rounds of financing along with investors such as Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Softbank Energy and Pangaea limited partners BASF Venture Capital and GC Ventures.
Pangaea Ventures is the world leader in hard tech and impact investing, with offices in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, and Phoenix, AZ, USA. With over two decades of hard tech impact investing experience, Pangaea’s impressive portfolio includes companies solving fundamental challenges that impact the world, including climate change, global food security, access to clean water, and poor health outcomes. From due diligence to investment selection and portfolio management, the impact is embedded in all aspects of Pangaea Ventures’ activities. For more information, visit www.pangaeaventures.com.
ESS Inc. designs builds and deploys environmentally sustainable, low-cost, iron flow batteries for long-duration commercial and utility-scale energy storage applications requiring from 4 to 12 hours of flexible energy capacity. The Energy Warehouse™ and Energy Center™ use earth-abundant iron, salt, and water for the electrolyte, resulting in an environmentally benign, long-life energy storage solution for the world’s renewable energy infrastructure. Established in 2011, ESS Inc. enables project developers, utilities, and commercial and industrial facility owners to transition to more flexible non-lithium-ion storage that is better suited for the grid and the environment. For more information, visit www.essinc.com.
ESS Inc. and ACON S2 Acquisition Corp. Announce Closing of Business Combination
On October 11, 2021, ESS Inc., a U.S. manufacturer of long-duration batteries for commercial and utility-scale energy storage applications, and ACON S2 Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: STWO) (“ACON S2”), a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company, today announced the completion of their previously announced business combination (the “Business Combination”), resulting in ESS becoming a publicly listed company. The combined company retains the ESS Inc. name, and its shares and warrants will commence trading today on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the new ticker symbols “GWH” and “GWH.W,” respectively.
“This is an incredibly proud moment for the entire ESS team and a milestone for the industry at large,” said Eric Dresselhuys, CEO of ESS. “We are excited to begin our next chapter as the first publicly traded long-duration energy storage company. Our differentiated battery technology gives us a first-mover advantage in a rapidly expanding market while simultaneously transforming the value proposition of long-duration storage to support renewable energy generation for the electrical grid. The proceeds from this transaction will enable us to scale our operations to meet the growing global demand for a product that the world needs today to support the transition to clean, renewable energy.”
“ESS is delivering a pioneering technology to the market today, and we are confident it will become the gold standard in the industry. Today’s milestone marks an important transition that will fuel the Company’s next stage of growth,” said Adam Kriger, CEO of ACON S2. “As a public company, ESS will have the platform to execute against its vision, capitalize on the rapidly growing opportunities in the long-duration energy storage market, and work to establish market leadership. We are excited to close this transaction, and I look forward to seeing the company play an important part in the world’s transition to a renewable future.”
The transaction primarily comprises $308 million of pro forma net cash to the combined company, including private investment in public equity (PIPE). The PIPE is led by institutional investors, including Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Koch Industries, Tortoise Capital Advisors, SB Energy Global Holdings Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp., Breakthrough Energy Ventures, BASF Venture Capital, and others.
The ESS executive management team will continue to be led by Eric Dresselhuys, Chief Executive Officer; Craig Evans, President and Co-founder; Julia Song, Chief Technology Officer, and Co-founder; and Amir Moftakhar, Chief Financial Officer.
The ESS Board of Directors will comprise eight members, including Chairman Michael R. Niggli, Eric Dresselhuys, Craig Evans, Raffi Garabedian, Rich Hossfeld, Shirley Speakman, Kyle Teamey, and Daryl Wilson.
Nomura Greentech Capital Advisors, LLC, served as a financial advisor, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C. served as legal counsel to ESS. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. served as capital markets advisor and placement agent to ACON S2. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel to ACON S2, with Walkers acting as Cayman Islands counsel to ACON S2. Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP served as placement agent’s counsel on the PIPE transaction. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Cowen and Company, and Stifel, Nicolaus & Company served as joint-book running managers for the ACON S2 initial public offering.