Bill Gates and 'Iron Man' team up to fund this energy startup

The California-based “smart motors” startup raised roughly $ 80 million for the use of motors that reduce electricity use.

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March 5, 2021 3 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

This story originally appeared on Alto Nivel

Turntide Technologies is a Silicon Valley company remodeling electric motors for the 21st century, and says it has raised $ 80 million in funding spearheaded by Breakthrough Energy Ventures , a cleantech fund created by Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft.

In addition, this startup is joined by another technology billionaire, but in science fiction: it is the actor Robert Downey Jr., known for playing Tony Stark (Iron Man) in Marvel films.

Motors consume half of the world’s electricity, powering everything from fans to electric vehicles, pumps and industrial machinery. Making them more efficient could go a long way toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions that warm the planet.

That is the purpose of the startup Turntide Technologies , which has commercialized a new type of electric motor. The company mentioned Wednesday that several investors participated in its $ 80 million raise, including funds led by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and famous Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr ; along with iPhone co-creator Tony Fadell. As well as the Amazon Climate Pledge, Fifth Wall, Keyframe Capital and Planet LP, among others.

Electric motors transform electricity into motion through the use of electromagnets to generate magnetic fields.

Turntide focuses on a market niche, in which it seeks to replace old electric motors in the ventilation systems of large buildings. Cost savings from reduced electricity use means that you could generate a return on investment in as little as three years. By the end of last year, Turntide had replaced 5,000 of these engines and aims to complete 50,000 by 2021.

With the above in mind, Turntide is exploring the applications of its motors in pumps and compressors. Ultimately, the company’s largest market is likely to be electric cars, although achieving the performance demanded by electric vehicles in cars will take more years of development.

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