Niron Magnetics, which is working on the development of high-performance, rare earth-free permanent magnets, has raised US$33m in additional funding. The new investments come from GM Ventures and Stellantis Ventures and previous local investors Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) and the University of Minnesota (UMN), among others. This new financing will, says Niron, enable it to expand its current pilot production facilities and scale manufacturing capacity for exclusive customer programs and initial sales of its magnets.
The new round of funding will advance the commercialization of Niron’s iron nitride-based Clean Earth Magnets, which it states are environmentally sustainable, globally manufacturable and made from stable supply inputs. The company also states that its alternative to rare-earth magnets promise improved temperature stability compared to other options currently available on the market, which is critical for automotive use.
With the new investments from GM Ventures and Stellantis Ventures, and previous funding from Volvo Cars Tech Fund, Niron is now backed by three leading automotive manufacturers.
“Nearly 40 years ago, GM’s R&D team discovered and commercialized the world’s first high-powered, rare-earth permanent magnet material. GM Ventures’ investment in Niron’s Magnetics brings our rich history in specialized magnet innovation full circle,” said Anirvan Coomer, president of GM Ventures. “Niron’s Clean Earth Magnet could help GM make more affordable EVs for its customers out of more abundant materials.”
By increasing its pilot production capacities through team and facility expansions, Niron will be able to increase customer prototyping programs and support small-scale product runs for key entry markets. In addition to automobiles, Niron’s Clean Earth Magnet technology can be used in consumer electronics and audio technology, industrial motors, pumps, compressors, wind turbines, and more, the company says.
“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,” said Jonathan Rowntree, CEO at Niron. “We look forward to collaborating closely with all of our investors and partners to work toward enabling a rare earth-free future in magnetics.”