General Fusion, Developer of Novel Nuclear Fusion Method, Raises $9M in Venture Financing

General Fusion, a Burnaby, BC-based company that hopes to generate clean energy from a new form of nuclear fusion, has raised $9 million out of a $12.5 million equity offering, Xconomy has learned.

The company isn’t disclosing who invested in the round, although it includes a syndicate from the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, says CEO Doug Richardson. The company’s board of directors includes Rolf Dekleer of Vancouver, BC-based GrowthWorks Capital, Mike Brown of Vancouver, BC-based Chrysalix Energy, William Lese of Braemar Energy Ventures in New York, and Klaas de Boer of Entrepreneurs Fund in London, according to a regulatory filing.

General Fusion, which Xconomy first cited in a British Columbia cleantech cluster story in March, is using the money to develop a technique called “magnetized target fusion” in which ionized gas is trapped by a magnetic field and compressed in a way that is safe, clean, and cost-effective, Richardson says. The money will be used to support a four-year, $50 million demonstration project that hopes to show that this technique can achieve the first net gain in energy production using the magnetized target fusion method. This effort to pull off fusion in a cheaper and simpler way is being run in parallel with two other massive fusion projects: the $6 billion National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the U.S., and the $20 billion ITER project in southern France, Richardson says.

“What we’re trying to do is apply modern technology to an old idea,” Richardson says.

Given that it is tackling one of the most difficult feats in physics, this startup company has drawn its share of media attention already. Forbes gave General Fusion a lengthy story back in October, and Popular Science followed in December with another longer piece.

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