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World’s first evergreen cleantech VC backs $40M investment in developing world’s lowest cost green hydrogen

Image credits: Hysata

Hysata, an Australian electrolyser company working on a pilot manufacturing facility – aimed at delivering the ‘world’s lowest cost green hydrogen’ – has secured $40 million in an oversubscribed Series A funding led by Virescent Ventures on behalf of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

UK’s Kiko Ventures, the world’s first evergreen cleantech venture investor, which launched a £375M platform in June, also participated in the round with its first investment of £23M in Hysata. Other investors included IP Group Australia, Vestas Ventures (Denmark), Hostplus (Australia), and BlueScope (via its ventures arm BlueScopeX TM) (Australia) participated in the round. 

The CEFC invested $10M into the Series A funding round, building on its initial $750,000 investment in the early commercial development of Hysata’s research. 

How will the funding be used?

As gas prices sky-rocket amid the illegal invasion of Ukraine, alternative fuel sources are desperately needed and green hydrogen is expected to become a multi-trillion-dollar industry. Hysata’s new technology has the potential to be available at scale and in Europe from 2030, many years earlier than imagined. The latest funds will help the company to grow its team and develop a pilot manufacturing facility.

“Our mission is to redefine the economics of green hydrogen production through our innovative proprietary electrolyser technology. The support of this international syndicate of clean energy practitioners and investors validates our core technology and approach to scaling and mass manufacture,” says Paul Barrett, CEO of Hysata.

He continues, “Green hydrogen is a vital energy vector on the world’s path to net zero, critical to decarbonising the hard-to-abate, yet vital, sectors of our economy such as steelmaking, heavy transport, and the chemical industry. Moreover, the extensive end use cases for green hydrogen translate to a greater than trillion-dollar market opportunity.”

He adds, “Over the last 12-18 months, Hysata has been interacting globally with dozens of major customers. Our efficiency and system simplicity impact on customers’ project economics truly moves the needle. We look forward to working with our shareholders and customers to bring this much-needed technology to market as soon as possible.”

Develops efficient electrolyser

Led by Paul Barrett, Hysata is an Australian electrolyser company developing a completely new type of hydrogen electrolyser, featuring the most efficient electrolysis cell coupled with a simplified balance of plant. 

Typically, electrolysers use electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen and are the key technology for producing green hydrogen. 

To reiterate, green hydrogen is widely acknowledged to be a crucial part of reaching net zero emissions globally, with the potential to meet up to 20% of energy demand in a net zero global economy.

Therefore, the most efficient electrolyser will deliver the lowest cost hydrogen. The company’s electrolyser operates at 95% system efficiency, compared with 75% or less efficiency for existing technologies. 

This high efficiency, coupled with the simple approach to mass manufacturing and low supply chain risk, puts the company on a path to delivering the world’s lowest cost green hydrogen.

The Hysata electrolyser is based on breakthrough Australian technology developed by a team from the University of Wollongong’s ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, led by chemical catalysis and characterisation expert Professor Gerry Swiegers.

The company is on a mission to accelerate the shift from fossil fuels to green hydrogen by delivering the best electrolyser.

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth says, “The CEFC is proud to continue our support for Hysata, which is set to be a major player in the global electrolyser industry. Green hydrogen will be essential to addressing the hardest to abate sources of emissions, and we’re excited to see Australian ingenuity providing the technology solutions that will help this industry reach scale. The CEFC has a strong focus on hydrogen-related investments through both our Innovation and Advancing Hydrogen Funds, and we are delighted to see Hysata continue to advance hydrogen to help meet future energy needs and reduce emissions in more sectors of the Australian economy.”

“The CEFC investment is via its specialist Clean Energy Innovation Fund, managed by Virescent Ventures. Virescent Ventures Partner Blair Pritchard said: “Hysata continues to make rapid progress, and we are pleased to support such an innovative company with an outstanding team. The continued growth of Hysata is an important pointer to the enormous potential of hydrogen to our net zero future.”

Kiko Ventures’ Founding Partner, Robert Trezona, says, “Having assessed scores of electrolyser technologies in my 20 years in cleantech, Hysata’s technology stands out as a true breakthrough. The company has redefined the core cell architecture for alkaline electrolysis, producing a practical and scalable solution with game-changing efficiency. Hysata has the potential to be a globally significant company in the hydrogen economy, and we look forward to supporting its growth, especially here in Europe.”

IP Group Australia’s Managing Director, Michael Molinari, adds, “Hysata has assembled a world-class team to bring their revolutionary capillary-fed electrolyser to market. We’re proud to have supported the company from before inception at the University of Wollongong to now redefining the economics of green hydrogen with their electrolyser that is set to scale.”

Todd O’Neill, CEO of Vestas Ventures, says, “As the venture capital arm of the world’s leading renewable technology provider, Vestas Ventures foresees great potential in combining wind power with electrolysers for green hydrogen production. We are delighted to have been invited to invest in Hysata. Nurturing disruptive renewable technologies is central to our investment strategy, and we look forward to following Hysata’s success over the coming years.”

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