SpinDrive, a Finnish cleantech company, has secured €3.8 million in Series A funding. Led by Rhapsody Venture Partners, a U.S.-based investor with a focus on hardware companies, who were joined by Finland’s Innovestor and Born2Grow from Germany.
SpinDrive’s magnetic bearing technology offers a frictionless alternative to traditional bearing systems, and the funding will support the company’s global expansion and the development of a new range of Active Magnetic Bearings.
Solving industrial challenges
Industrial equipment is often reliant on bearings, but they are not without costs. Needing frequent maintenance, they often require copious volumes of oil, and still have a negative impact on machinery efficiency. SpinDrive’s solution addresses these issues head-on.
Although bearing may be a mechanical necessity, Nikita Uzhegov, COO and Co-founder of SpinDrive, noted that industry wanted more. “We have seen increasing international demand for more energy efficiency and cleaner solutions in industrial production,” Uzhegov said. “We are excited to build SpinDrive to meet those customer needs with our active magnetic bearing systems and controllers.”
SpinDrive’s frictionless magnetic bearings are smaller, more energy-efficient, and more cost-effective than traditional alternatives. Using magnetic levitation, these bearings ensure no contact between rotating and stationary parts, eliminating friction.
The means a SpinDrive bearing can give up to twenty years of maintenance-free operation, much longer than traditional bearings that typically require replacement every twelve to eighteen months, an operation that requires costly downtime. In addition, SpinDrive offers monitoring and predictive maintenance for the entire machine, and can see maintenance costs reduced by more than 80%.
Eco-friendly and energy-efficient
Their bearings also remove the need for oil-based lubrication. Currently, EU factories use five million tons of lubricants every year, creating leak and contamination risks. And by creating an oil-free bearing, SpinDrive not only reduce those risks, but have opened up new markets where contamination-free processing is essential, like the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, semiconductor, and hydrogen-based production sectors.
SpinDrive bearings also reduces energy consumption. SpinDrive’s bearings and controllers can achieve up to a 15% reduction in energy consumption. And when industrial motors account for 46% of the world’s electricity consumption, that represents a significant saving. Janne Heikkinen, SpinDrive’s CEO and Co-founder of SpinDrive, highlights the importance of this. “We often get stuck thinking about technologies like carbon capture when it comes to CO₂ emissions,” he said. “By improving the energy efficiency in existing and new machinery, we tackle the problem in a massive area and provide a significant impact.” The company has set a target to cut 500 million tons of CO₂ annually by 2050 through the efficiency they bring.
A path to a sustainable future
Carsten Boers, Managing Partner at lead investor Rhapsody Venture Partners, believes the product puts them in an ideal position to transform the sector. “SpinDrive’s system is much cheaper and better than anything else in the market,” he said. “We are excited to partner with the team and to help grow SpinDrive internationally.”
The global bearing industry is currently worth €120 billion covering applications like turbo blowers, compressors, expanders, process machinery, flywheels, and energy recovery systems. High rotational speeds, enabled by frictionless operation, offer significant energy efficiency improvements in gas transfer and compression processes, minimising energy losses.
SpinDrive has raised €8 million to date. Although currently based in Finland and Germany, their active magnetic bearings can be found in industries and factories across the world, where they are already demonstrating efficiency improvements for their users.
With plans to expand their product range, and strengthen their position in existing markets and expand into others, SpinDrive are confident their bearings will improve industrial efficiency, while helping address the challenge of climate change.