ERGOSUP develops hydrogen infrastructures based on its unique and patented technology of direct electrolysis of water under very high pressure. This integrated, competitive and secure system meets the strongly growing need for carbon-free hydrogen, for both “clean mobility” and low-carbon industrial gas applications.
After a first round of €2.7 million in 2015, the French start-up raised €11 million this year from the PSIM Fund (Major Innovation Support Programme) managed by Bpifrance as part of the Future Investments Programme, AP Ventures, Kouros and Normandie Participations, as well as its long-standing shareholders Air Liquide Venture Capital (ALIAD), Demeter Ventures, GO CAPITAL and Arkéa Capital. Its near term goal are to industrialise the production of its small series electrolysers, develop its marketing function and strengthen its team with the recruitment of ten new employees.
Whereas today 95% of hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels, and less than 0.01% by electrolysis of water, the goal set by the Hulot plan of June 2018 is to achieve 10% carbon-free hydrogen by 2023, and 40% by 2028. This French policy is aligned with an ambitious international agenda for hydrogen where today there is strong support from industrial partners’ investments and commitments from local governments, which have resulted in a host of hydrogen technologies being deployed.
ERGOSUP contributes to this growth thanks to its unique and patented know-how regarding hydrogen production. This allows it to respond to user expectations and target a privileged position, where very few actors are present today. The start-up proposes supplying green hydrogen, which is competitive and safe, closer to end-users, and with a capacity really adapted to needs.
The first markets targeted are “zero emissions” transport with different types of hydrogen-electric vehicles (drones, handling equipment, bicycles, cars, etc.) and the on-site production of industrial gas instead of receiving supplies by tank truck.
In 2015, a first round of funds amounting to €2.7 million helped to strengthen the teams, complete the technology development phase and deploy a prototype and demonstration units. The €11 million capital increase at the beginning of the year will enable the launch of small series production, the development of marketing, plus the recruitment of sales personnel, project managers and technicians.
This funding results from shareholders’ reinvestments, including Air Liquide Venture Capital (ALIAD), Demeter 3 start-up fund managed by Demeter Ventures, GO CAPITAL start-up fund managed by GO CAPITAL and Arkéa Capital Investissement, managed by Arkéa Capital, a subsidiary of the Arkéa group.
To these “historic” investors are added four new leading players: AP Ventures, the PSIM fund (Major Innovation Support Programme) managed by Bpifrance as part of the Investments for the Future Programme, Normandie Participations and Kouros.
I am very proud of the renewed confidence of our historic shareholders, one of which is a member of the Hydrogen Council. But also, there is the arrival of new international, national and regional funds, again with significant support from the Normandy Region. This operation, which is part of an impressive rise in the use of hydrogen, consolidates our development strategy. Thus, we will be able to accelerate the deployment of our integrated and decentralised sites and reinforce our teams to launch our industrialisation and stimulate commercialisation”, explains Patrick PAILLERE, CEO of ERGOSUP.
“Bpifrance has been working with ERGOSUP for almost five years now. Winner of the first phase of the World Innovation Competition (CMI) in 2014, the company was selected for Phase 2 in 2015. The sum of grants and repayable advances received has allowed it to finance research and development the first products. Its qualification for Phase 3 of the CMI last year made it eligible for the PSIM fund (Major Innovation Support Programme), which we manage under the Future Investments Programme. We have been convinced by the relevance of the technology, which allows us to develop solutions adapted to the mobility of tomorrow”, states Laura PANQUET, Senior Investment Officer at Bpifrance.
“I am delighted to announce our investment in ERGOSUP which adds another company to our existing portfolio of assets across the hydrogen value chain. I am very impressed by both ERGOSUP’s team and its unique technology which provides an integrated low-cost solution for distributed green hydrogen. As a board member, I look forward to working with the ERGOSUP; sharing AP Venture’s expertise, experience and network within the global hydrogen economy to create further value for the Company”, says Andrew Hinkly, Managing Partner, AP Ventures.
“ERGOSUP is perfectly in line with developments in the energy, mobility and smart city sectors by proposing a unique solution for the decentralized production of green hydrogen under pressure. The flexibility of this technology allows ERGOSUP to address a multitude of markets ranging from hydrogen mobility, to industrial/laboratory applications to the supply of isolated sites. We are pleased to continue the support of ERGOSUP in its new growth phase and pleased to see that the hydrogen sector draws back financial and corporate investors”, explains Olivier BORDELANNE, Partner in DEMETER’s team.
“The development of the hydrogen value chain is an integral part of the Air Liquide Group’s innovation strategy. ERGOSUP is a remarkable member of this project. Its high-pressure electrolysis technology opens applications that will be the norm for carbon-free mobility and decentralised management of hydrogen-energy. It is the technical and industrial know-how of the ERGOSUP team, combined with the Air Liquide Group’s international expertise in the hydrogen market, which explains the renewed confidence of ALIAD Venture Capital in support of this young company” says Matthieu EYRIES, Managing Director, ALIAD Venture Capital.
“The various steps taken by ERGOSUP since GO CAPITAL’s first investment, the launch in 2019 of the first hydrogen generator model, the HyRiS Lab, and the prospects opened by the expansion of the range, in the short term, to other applications (drones, mobility) convinced GO CAPITAL to participate in this new fundraising. GO CAPITAL, with its GO CAPITAL priming funds I and II, significantly contributes to financing young innovative companies involved in the development of technologies for energy transition: ERGOSUP is one of its treasures”, states Bruno GUICHEUX, Director of Investment at GO CAPITAL.
“We are very proud to renew our support for ERGOSUP and participate in this new fundraising. We have been supporting its leaders and the team since 2015 in the development of this innovative and competitive carbon-free hydrogen production technology, fully in line with the recent measures taken by the government for the country’s energy transition. This new investment by Arkéa Capital is part of a rational approach to supporting regional companies with high potential”, says Sylvie LE BRAS, Investment Officer at Arkéa Capital.
“Normandie Participations, as an investment fund in the Normandy Region, is pleased to support the development of ERGOSUP. The company has developed a relevant offer based on a good patent portfolio. Alongside our co-investors, we support the company’s ambitious development plan, which has the necessary qualities to be a leader in a fast- growing market, both in France and abroad”, comments John GUINET, Investment Manager at Normandie Participations.
“Thanks to its unique high-pressure electrolysis technology, ERGOSUP offers a viable solution, which is as close as possible to hydrogen consumers, and contributes to accelerating the development of green hydrogen. For Kouros, an industrial group and investor committed to the fight against global warming, ERGOSUP is a privileged technological partner for the deployment of systems to rebuild a 100% carbon-free energy system”, says Florent BERGERET, Director of Kouros Investments.