Many companies are promising to achieve the grand goal of clean fusion energy in the coming years, and the projects have been backed by billions of dollars of investment.
Now, Kyoto Fusioneering, a fusion Japanese energy startup, has raised 1.33 billion yen ($11.7 million) in its latest round of funding, bringing it a step closer to achieving its goal of commercially viable fusion energy. This capital increase brings the total amount of funds raised by Kyoto Fusioneering to 1.67 billion yen ($14.7 million).
The series B funding round was supported by existing investors, Coral Capital Co., and underwritten by five new investors from some of Japan’s top VC firms (in alphabetical order): Daiwa Corporate Investment, DBJ Capital, JAFCO Group, JGC MIRAI Innovation Fund, and JIC Venture Growth Investments. In addition to this capital investment, KF has also arranged unsecured loan agreements totaling 800 million yen ($7 million) from the Bank of Kyoto, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and MUFG Bank.
The fund will be used to accelerate its research and expand the business to capture new areas of the budding fusion technology market. In particular, the company will use funds for the concentrated development of its plant engineering technologies for plasma heating (gyrotrons) and heat extraction (blankets), which are required for fusion reactor projects currently under development worldwide.
Nuclear fusion is a technology with the unparalleled potential to solve the world’s energy and environmental problems. It offers a way to produce vast amounts of clean energy whilst producing no carbon emissions. Efforts to realize fusion energy are currently developing at a scale and speed never seen before.
At the moment, a group of nations is supporting the international ITER project (the European Union, Japan, the United States, Russia, Korea, India, the UK, and China), a technology test reactor which will be first operated later this decade. Other nations, such as the U.S. and China, are also pursuing their own domestic programs. The Japanese government also has a number of initiatives sin the fusion space.
“Climate change is an existential threat to humanity, and a fusion energy future, if achieved, could be the silver bullet that literally saves the world,” said James Riney, founding partner and CEO of Coral Capital. “With Japan’s high energy dependency, technological prowess, and history with nuclear energy, we believe that this country is well-positioned to be a global leader in this space. While many startups talk about how they want to change the world, this company is actually doing it.”
An article recently suggested that 2021 was a breakthrough year for fusion energy. However, it is the decade ahead that will see the rapid expansion of the fusion industry, and KF’s mission is to drive this expansion towards commercialization.