Bedrock Materials secures $9 Million seed funding, establishes R&D Headquarters in Chicago

“On behalf of Chicago’s residents and businesses, I extend a sincere welcome and congratulations to Bedrock Materials for choosing our city as the location for its Research & Development headquarters,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “This decision reflects the strength of Chicago’s talent pool, our esteemed research and academic institutions, and the vibrant tech ecosystem emerging here. We look forward to the positive impact Bedrock Materials will have on our city’s growing tech sector.”

Bedrock Materials specializes in producing essential materials for low-cost, eco-friendly sodium-ion batteries. These batteries are seen as a next-generation alternative to lithiumion versions, utilizing affordable, widely available materials. Last month, the company began R&D scale production of battery precursor materials at its facility in Near West Chicago. Plans are underway to open a larger, permanent site later this year.

Concurrent with this strategic move, Bedrock Materials also secured an incentives package from the Illinois state government under the Reimagining Electric Vehicles in Illinois Act, contingent upon achieving specific job creation and capital investment targets.

Illinois is home to one of the most robust EV ecosystems in the nation, and I’m thrilled to welcome Bedrock Materials to our great state,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Their research and development headquarters will join our growing EV supply chain, bringing innovation and job creation to our EV economy.”

The company’s decision to locate in Chicago was driven in large part by the abundance of strong materials science research institutions in the area, including Northwestern UniversityUniversity of ChicagoUniversity of Illinois, and Illinois Institute of Technology. Moreover, Argonne National Laboratory, in Lemont, Illinois, is a key leader in the development of sodium-ion batteries.

“The choice to come to Chicago was an easy one. There is arguably one active laboratory in America that has produced a successful automotive battery chemistry, and it’s here” said Spencer Gore, CEO of Bedrock Materials, “Argonne National Laboratory wrote the book on modern sodium-ion technology. Today, pulling on the deep regional talent pool they have built, we are excited to perfect and scale it.”

Professor Shirley Meng of the University of Chicago commented, “It is truly exciting that the State of Illinois can attract startup companies like Bedrock Materials to be part of the clean tech community. The innovation ecosystem is growing, and we look forward to collaborating with and supporting startups.” Professor Meng is also the Chief Scientist of the Argonne Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science.

The $9 million financing round was led by Trucks Venture Capital, Refactor Capital, and Version One Ventures. Additional investment was provided by Hanover Technology Investment Management, SpaceCadet Ventures, Brainstorm Capital, Evergreen Climate Innovations, Expansion VC, Climate Capital, Quest Venture Partners, Meliorate Partners, Valia Ventures, Ritual Capital, and several individual angel investors with strong ties to the electric vehicle and battery industries.