LOS ANGELES, March 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- H2U Technologies, Inc. (H2U), the developer of new energy technologies to produce green hydrogen, closed an oversubscribed $11 million Series A funding round with leading venture capital and energy firms, led by Jericho Energy Ventures (Jericho)(TSXV:JEV)(Frankfurt:JLM0)(OTC PINK:JROOF), Freeflow Ventures (Freeflow), VoLo Earth Ventures (VoLo), and Hess Corporation (Hess)(NYSE:HES).
H2U raised a $7M first tranche of Series A financing in 2021, which was co-led by Jericho, Hess, Dolby Family Ventures and Motus Ventures.
"H2U has discovered abundant, low-cost catalysts for green hydrogen production, replacing rare, expensive PGMs. Coupled with H2U's novel, low-cost electrolyzer design, we and our partners will produce least-cost green hydrogen, so we are thrilled to have such support from new and existing investors," said Mark McGough, President and CEO of H2U.
"We are excited to have H2U in our portfolio of businesses," said Brian Williamson, CEO of Jericho Energy Ventures. "H2U's cutting-edge technology will play an integral role in accelerating the production and deployment of clean hydrogen to advance the energy transition. We look forward to partnering with H2U and providing the necessary resources to build upon its differentiated product offering."
Proceeds from the deal will be used for the advancement of H2U's innovative electrolyzer designs and to commission the build of its proprietary Catalyst Discovery Engine™ (CDE). The CDE is one million times faster than traditional catalyst discovery processes and uses artificial intelligence to identify non-PGM (Platinum Group Metals) PEM catalysts.
The Big Picture
Due to the rapidly growing demand for clean hydrogen and the use of rare earth metals in many forms of clean hydrogen production and utilization, most expect demand for rare earths to increase dramatically in the coming decades. To prevent shortages in critical materials that would interfere with today's primary pathway for clean hydrogen production, the industry needs to materially reduce or fully eliminate its reliance on expensive, finite and singly sourced rare earth metals. This is now a widely known issue – the DOE recently identified through its Clean Hydrogen Electrolysis Program that fundamental research will be required to replace non-precious metal electrocatalysts facilitating the advancement of hydrogen production technologies.
Reliance on rare and precious metals such as iridium dramatically increases the cost of PEM electrolysis, and ultimately the cost of green hydrogen. However, H2U's CDE can identify earth-abundant alternative catalysts at a rate one million times faster than known industry methods, unlocking a critical barrier to PEM water electrolysis scalability and maximizing the production of ultra-low-cost clean hydrogen. H2U will leverage this unique platform by developing its own non-precious metal-based PEM electrolyzer for widespread commercial adoption.
Partners and Investors Weigh In
David Fleck, Founder and Managing Partner of Freeflow, states, "This investment underscores our commitment to back the visionary companies with roots at Caltech that are solving complex problems in human and planetary health. By embracing technological disruption, H2U is paving the road toward net zero emissions."
"We (VoLo Earth Ventures) are tremendously pleased to join the H2U team," Eric Riesenberg, Managing Partner of VoLo and newly appointed board director at H2U, said. "VoLo's fund is dedicated to decarbonization and new energy investments and was impressed by H2U due to its great management team and highly differentiated low-cost approach to generating green hydrogen through PEM water electrolysis."
"H2U is leading the way in developing the technologies that are needed to advance the global energy transition. We are pleased to make this investment to further accelerate H2U's remarkable innovation in the hydrogen space," said Tim Goodell, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Hess.
"Under McGough's leadership, H2U has hired an enviable staff of scientists and engineers working to create a step change in the pace of global decarbonization efforts," said Tom Werner, H2U's Chairman of the Board. "H2U's innovative work to identify new catalysts that significantly reduce costs – as was done for solar – is imperative to scaling green hydrogen production to a level that will allow the world meet its carbon reduction goals."
A Track Record of Success
In 2021, H2U announced a strategic partnership with SoCalGas, the largest natural gas distributor in the U.S, who recently announced plans to replace up to 25% of their natural gas with clean hydrogen, requiring 10 to 20 GW worth of electrolysis capacity. The pair have partnered to pilot H2U's novel PEM electrolyzer – the Gramme 50™ (G50) – which features breakthrough sub-component innovations to enable low-cost green hydrogen production.
"Innovations that make green hydrogen production more cost-effective and scalable are critical to providing clean, safe and reliable energy for the nearly 22 million Californians we serve while reaching our net-zero emissions goal," said Neil Navin, SoCalGas vice president of clean energy innovations. "Partnering with H2U Technologies will provide meaningful advancements that aim to move this important technology forward."
H2U headquarters are located in a 25,000 square foot facility in Chatsworth, CA.
About H2U Technologies, Inc.
H2U Technologies is a developer of new catalysts used to start or speed up the electrolysis of water into hydrogen and oxygen. The company also produces a grid-scale PEM electrolyzer, the Gramme 50. The technology underpinning H2U Technologies' products is based on 10 years of research and development funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through Caltech's Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP). For more information, visit h2utechnologies.com.
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SOURCE H2U Technologies