CanadianBusiness.com May 20, 2015
Latest funding round brings total investment in the Burnaby, B.C.-based energy company to more than $100 million
Canadian alternative energy company General Fusion has just completed its largest round of fundraising to date, in the amount of $27 million. The new funding, led by Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, brings the Burnaby, B.C.-based firm’s total venture capital raised to more than $100 million.
According to CEO Nathan Gilliland, General Fusion executives first met with representatives of Khazanah Nasional Berhad at an awards ceremony in Vancouver last year. Coming from a country rich in fossil fuels, “They had a real interest in developing clean, alternative sources of energy,” he says.
Other participants in this round of financing include existing backers Bezos Expeditions, Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, Braemar Energy Ventures, Entrepreneurs Fund, SET Ventures, BDC and Cenovus Energy Inc. Gilliland said some smaller new investors also took part, and there will be a second closing of the round towards the end of the summer offering additional investors the opportunity to participate.
The new money is a validation of General Fusion’s approach to the problem of developing a working fusion reactor and its progress over the past five years towards that goal, Gilliland says, but also of fusion energy in general, which is viewed in some circles as a technology that will never happen. “The fusion industry is coming into its own,” he says.
“We expect to do a little bit of hiring” with the help of the cash infusion, he adds, but he does not expect it to affect the company’s technology development timelines one way or the other. “We expect in the next couple of years to prove out our approach,” he says, at which point General Fusion will commence work on a full-scale prototype reactor.