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August 4, 2009

VC Firms, Braemar Energy Ventures, Growthworks Capital, Chrysalix Energy Ventures, and the Entrepreneurs Fund Join $22 Million Funding Round in Canadian Energy Startup, General Fusion

Filed under: Venture Capital News — admin @ 5:25 am

British Columbia based energy company, General Fusion announced today that it had received $22 million in funding round with $9 million invested by Braemer Energy, Growthworks Capital, Chrysalix Energy Ventures, and the Entrepreneurs Fund. The rest of the $22 million is compiled of investments from several undisclosed private investors.

General Fusion is an energy company that serves British Columbia and western Canada, and is experimenting with fusion technology. General Fusion is based in Burnaby, British Columbia, and is currently developing a fusion prototype that is designed to create energy more efficiently than the conventional coal-burning power plants are able to.

As far as the company’s prototype is concerned, General Fusion is actually working on two fusion projects, which are magnetic and inertial confinement fusion. Magnetic fusion uses large magnets to force particles to fuse and therefore powering the generators that produce electricity. The second fusion project is designed to work by implementing inertial confinement fusion, which is when high-density fuel pellets are shot by lasers, generating power that way. General Fusion hopes that it can combine both fusion methods into its prototype and drastically cut cost in energy production. Furthermore, since fusion is an energy generator that does not consume any type of fossil fuel, it is also clean and friendly to the environment.

According to the vice president of Growthworks Capital, Rolf Dekleer, General Fusion is basically trying to change the game, and if people were talking about developing this type source of energy ten years ago, there would be no global warming today. Furthermore, Mr. Dekleer added that should General Fusion get to the point where their product prototype can produce significant net gain, then there could be the possibility that large companies, such as General Electric could buy out all investors.

Mr. Dekleer’s comments were also backed up by General Fusion’s CEO, Douglas Richardson, who stated that General Fusion is speeding up this technology up a thousand fold. Furthermore, this technology has been around for almost 30 years, but the sophisticated technology that would be governed by computerized processing controls and plasma technology was still in its infancy and there was no way to be able to sustain such a strong power source. Furthermore, Mr. Richardson added that the main goal is to develop this technology to the point where General Fusion can produce net gain.

The current economic times, however, made life difficult for Mr. Richardson and the other people on the management team of the fledgling company. When shopping around in Silicon Valley, Mr. Richardson found many doors were slammed in his face and many of the Silicon Valley investors were too afraid that the risk in investing in this type of technology was too high. Many investors were not sure that this type of technology would fly. However, after much diligence, General Fusion did get the backing it needed to start developing its prototype.

Braemar Energy Ventures is a vc firm that is dedicated to help invent new alternative energy sources. Founded in 2002, Braemar Energy Ventures solely dedicates its investments to those companies in the energy industry who have a proprietary technology that would disrupt the energy market. Some other companies in Braemar’s portfolio include CoalTek, PowerGenix, Afina, Fractal, CirisEnergy, Climos, and others.

Growthworks Capital is one of Canada’s leading vc firms and has over $1 billion of regional venture capital under its management. Growthworks Capital has been helping Canadian entrepreneurs for over 17 years and mainly invests in companies that have a high growth potential. Some other companies in Growthworks’ portfolio include Layer7, Sutus, Inimex, Lighthaus, NxtGen, BuildDirect, Protiva, Schneider Electric, and others.

Chrysalix Energy Ventures is a vc firm that is dedicated to the development of alternative energy and clean fuels. Chrysalix mainly focuses on next generation solar energy, next generation bio-fuels, using waste to create energy, and new disruptive energy generation processes. Chrysalix Energy Ventures mainly invests in early and mid stage companies with effective management teams. Some other companies in Chrysalix’s portfolio include Angstrom Power, Ardica Technologies, Day4 Energy, EnerWorks, H2Gen, HydroPoint, and others.

The Entrepreneurs Fund is dedicated to the entrepreneur and invests in early and growth stage companies. Along with providing the financing that entrepreneurs need, also provides these entrepreneurs access to the valuable entrepreneurial expertise that the entrepreneurs need to get their companies off the ground. Other companies in the Entrepreneurs Fund’s portfolio include CPT, Exosect, OptiNose, t2cure, Technolas, and others.

For more information about General Fusion, click here.


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