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Turntide's new energy efficient motor technology could drive the electrification of everything

When FootPrint Coalition Ventures first unveiled our investment in Turntide Technologies back in March, we knew that the company’s ambitions were matched only by its potential.

Image Credit: Turntide Technologies

The company‘s premise is deceptively simple — build a better, more energy efficient, software-controlled motor. In some ways it’s no different from the notion behind LED lights, cut energy consumption by building a product that uses energy more efficiently.

Behind both businesses are incredibly complicated technologies that took years to develop and huge markets worth billions of dollars (with the added — and more important — benefit of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions).

That was Turntide’s promise when we backed them and that’s the mission that’s attracted $225 million in new financing from some of the world’s best (and biggest) investors.

The company announced earlier today that it had received new money from investors including the $400 billion Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board and our frequent co-investors Breakthrough Energy Ventures, alongside the venture arm of real estate developer Jones Lang Lasalle. The last round included another co-investor of ours, Future Shape, launched by iPod inventor and Nest co-founder, Tony Fadell.

Can one company really need to raise over $300 million in less than six months? We think the answer is yes. And the reason is the sheer size of the markets that Turntide wants to transform.

Turntide already has a foothold in buildings, where its motors can be installed in heating and air conditioning units to help make that equipment more energy efficient.

Now, with a clutch of recent acquisitions, Turntide is driving fast into the electric vehicle market. Alongside its funding announcement today, the company also revealed that it had acquired a third company to expand its footprint in vehicle electrification.

That business —Avid Technology — joins two other acquisitions under the Turntide Transport banner. That’s the company’s new division focused on electrifying mobility and the opportunity there is tremendous.

“While automakers are making strides to reduce carbon with electric passenger cars, the most difficult sectors to decarbonize, such as commercial and industrial vehicles in rail, marine and aerospace, are far behind,” said Ryan Morris, Turntide’s Chairman and CEO, in a statement today. “The AVID acquisition completes our end-to-end offering for the electrification of commercial and industrial vehicles. This puts us on a path to eliminate the need for rare earth magnets in EVs as we further develop our motor technology for the transport market.”

The company’s patented new motor runs efficiently at all speeds and it doesn’t use the rare earth minerals that most higher-efficiency permanent magnet motors require. Reducing demand for rare earths adds another environmental benefit by cutting the need for mining and excavation of these minerals (which are already in short supply).

Add to that the 30% lower cost; 20 to 70% reduced energy costs; and a doubling in reliability and lifetime for the motors and you’ve got a compelling business that should reap financial and climate rewards — if it has the capital it needs to build its business.

That capital is what the company’s new investors are providing and what we’re all hoping the business can achieve.

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