Power trends: Big plans for ultracapacitors: Page 4 of 5

June 09, 2017 // By Nick Flaherty
Taavi Madiberk, CEO of Skeleton Technologies
Taavi Madiberk doesn’t like the phrase unicorn. But as the CEO of rapidly expanding Estonian ultracapacitor company Skeleton Technology, he is ambitiously aiming at over $1bn in revenues.

This takes significant funding, which is where Madiberk comes in. He was the former chairman of the national railway company and studied law at university with his co-founder Oliver Ahlberg. But there was a family link with his father working in the Institute so he knew about the technology.

“In our case the key benefit was we managed to sign the first cornerstone partner with ESA and automotive tier one companies early on when our burn rate was really low. The first round of financing is always the most difficult and after that what helped us was very strong customer traction. At the moment the financing climate is really good - we have built up the technology and manufacturing and a clear cost structure.

“We are backed by a number of institutions including the European investment bank, and we are quite proud of the fact that they put faith in us, especially as several automotive suppliers are also customers of theirs.”

In the meantime industrial applications provide income. The company recently launched a series of 19in racks that provide megawatts of short-term power. The SkelGrid family has maximum power ratings ranging from 520 kW up to 1500 kW to provide backup power.

“In the semiconductor and electronics industries power quality is of utmost importance,” said Madiberk. “A power outage lasting for under a second can damage all the products on the production line, and the losses are compounded by the unavoidable downtime of clearing the backlog and setting everything up again."

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