U-M Spinout Fusion Coolant Systems Scores $1.25M Series B

Fusion Coolant Systems, the University of Michigan cleantech spinout with offices in Canton, MI, and Ireland, announced this week that it has raised $1.25 million in a Series B round. Investors participating in the round include U-M’s Michigan Investment in New Technology Startups (MINTS) fund and Ann Arbor’s Amherst Fund.

Fusion Coolant’s technology is an advanced coolant for use in manufacturing. Typically, water is used to cool equipment during the manufacturing process, which results in a toxic sludge of chemical runoff. Fusion Coolant has developed an alternative that uses supercritical carbon dioxide, a byproduct of other manufacturing processes, to cool and lubricate machinery without water. Founder and interim CEO Steven Skerlos said Fusion Coolant’s process saves money, produces less waste, and helps shrink a manufacturer’s carbon footprint.

Fusion Coolant was founded in 2011 and shifted strategy, Skerlos explained, shortly after it closed on a Series A round, valued at approximately $750,000, in 2013. The company was initially attempting to hunt “large game,” he added, before changing course.

“We’re focusing more on targeted applications than big manufacturers,” Skerlos explained. The company has made “big inroads” into the biomedical manufacturing sphere, where the company’s cleaner process has gained traction, and it will attempt to corner the aerospace and automotive markets next. The company is also searching for a permanent CEO, a position that has garnered a bit of turnover through the years, and expects to have on in place within six months.

Skerlos said Fusion Coolant’s six-person team will use the new capital to buy machine tools that will speed its sales cycle and allow it to explore new applications in house. The company will also hire an applications manager.

“We’ve proven that there’s a market for what we offer,” Skerlos said. “The question now is, which markets and how best to scale.”

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