Sustainable magnet technology company Niron Magnetics announced that it has raised $33 million, with funds by leading automotive manufacturers, GM Ventures and Stellantis Ventures joining the company’s list of investors.
Permanent magnets are essential components in systems and devices ranging from automobiles and electric vehicle (EV) drivetrains to renewable energy systems and consumer electronics. Surging EV demand has driven a need for a more stable and sustainable alternative to these materials.
Founded in 2015, Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Niron Magnetics has developed “Clean Earth Magnets” made using commonly available iron and nitrogen raw materials that can be sourced globally and sustainably, and free of rare earths and other critical materials.
The company says its magnets demonstrate performance and temperature stability equal to, or better than, rare earth magnets, at half the cost.
Adam Bazih, Managing Partner at Stellantis Ventures said:
“We were drawn to invest in Niron by the impressive sustainability benefits that its Clean Earth Magnet technology offers for vehicles and the inherent scalability of their solution. Making powerful magnets from plentiful commodity materials decouples new production from rare earth mine development and lowers overall environmental impact, which directly aligns with Stellantis’ commitment to reach carbon net zero by 2038.”
The company said that the new round of funding, which also included previous local investors, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and the University of Minnesota, will enable Niron to expand its current pilot production facilities and scale manufacturing capacity for exclusive customer programs and initial sales of its Clean Earth Magnet.
Jonathan Rowntree, CEO at Niron, said:
“We are thrilled that local organizations like SMSC and UMN continue to support Niron’s growth, and that GM and Stellantis both see the potential for Niron’s technology to help drive the automotive industry’s transition to EVs. We look forward to collaborating closely with all of our investors and partners to work towards enabling a rare earth-free future in magnetics.”
Alongside the investment, GM also announced a strategic partnership with Niron to co-develop Clean Earth Magnet motor technology that can be used in future GM EVs.
Anirvan Coomer, president of GM Ventures said:
“We believe Niron’s unique technology can play a key role in reducing rare earth minerals from EV motors and help us further scale our North American-based supply chain for EVs. Our path to an all-electric future will be enabled not only by our own research and development efforts, but also by investing in next generation technology from startups and established companies outside our four walls.”