A company surfing the growing global need for batteries hopes to raise nearly $23 million to keep going as it continues to suffer big losses.
A company surfing the growing global need for batteries hopes to raise nearly $23 million to keep going as it continues to suffer big losses.

Battery maker chasing up to $22.9 million in fresh funds

CAP IN HAND

Batteries will power our cars, homes and industries in the future but getting there won't be cheap or easy.

A perfect illustration of this can be found in Redflow, the loss-making Brisbane battery maker which has gone back to the market with cap in hand.

Redflow announced another in a long series of capital raisings yesterday (THURS), seeking an immediate $6.25 million but aiming for up to $22.9 million to bankroll its global activities through June next year.

The company, headed by boss Tim Harris (illustrated), specialises in what's known as zinc-bromine batteries, as distinct from the lithium-ion variety which powers cars, garden tools and the like.

A large scale battery made up from zinc-bromine modules designed by Redflow
A large scale battery made up from zinc-bromine modules designed by Redflow

With a manufacturing plant in Thailand, Redflow has chalked up some wins in the past few years targeting telcos, remote areas and industrial facilities. They've got a toehold in South Africa, New Zealand and China.

But it's been a tough slog for Redflow, which joined the ASX 10 years ago after raising $17.5 million and has yet to turn a profit.

Indeed, it's been nothing but red ink so far, with a $3.7 million net loss in the December half and an $11.6 million net loss in the last financial year.

The firm, which most recently raised $8.4 million in May last year, still has about $5 million cash in the bank and no debt. A $2 million tax rebate for R&D and cost cutting efforts, including a salary trim for senior executives, have also helped.

Ultimately, Redflow is counting on the accuracy of forecasters, who have predicted the world's market for so-called "redox flow'' batteries will be worth $US4.5 billion by 2028.

The wider global energy storage sector is tipped to hit a whopping $620 billion by 2040.

Even so, investors appeared underwhelmed with Redflow's latest fundraising campaign, sending its shares down slightly to close at a mere 2.5 cents. They originally floated at $1.



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