Thursday, July 01, 2010

Hydrogen storage start-up gets 14 ME funding, McPHY

Sofinnova Partners, acting as a leading investor, Gimv and Amundi Private Equity Funds announced today their investment in McPhy Energy, together with the historic investors in a second round of funding worth €13.7m. The funds will be used towards the global expansion of McPhy Energy and the further industrialisation and commercialisation of its products.

McPhy Energy is an innovative French company founded in January 2008 with the mission to industrialise and commercialise a new technology for the solid storage of hydrogen in the form of magnesium hydride. The company has developed an alternative solution for the on-site production of hydrogen for the industry sector and for the renewable energy sector a concrete solution to solve the issue of energy storage.

Following a €1.6m first round of financing in January 2009 from Emertec and Areva, the firm established its production line and created a reservoir of magnesium hydride that was delivered to CEA-Liten in March 2010 for testing on an industrial scale. The company is now developing a second large-capacity reservoir that will become operational during the second half of 2010.

The second round of funds will allow the start-up to scale quickly, from both an industrial and commercial development point of view, by reinforcing its commercial and technical team and investing in additional production equipment. Already present in Spain and in Italy, the company also plans to open offices in Germany, Northern Europe, the Middle East and Japan.

“Through our innovative and very promising technology, McPhy Energy offers a new perspective on technical, ecological and economical solutions in the areas of industrial hydrogen distribution and energy storage,” explains Pascal Mauberger, CEO of McPhy Energy. “We are proud that such experienced investors share our enthusiasm for McPhy Energy’s advanced technology and will accompany us in further developing critical alternatives in these two fields,” he added.

“Following past investments in DNP Green, Revolt Technology and Neosens, this latest investment in McPhy Energy is proof of Sofinnova Partners’ continued interest in the Cleantech sector,” says Alessio Beverina, Principal at Sofinnova Partners. “McPhy Energy exemplifies what we actively seek in a start-up: an innovative technology that solves an unanswered issue in a growing international market and, above all, a high-quality managerial team which has already successfully proven itself and demonstrated its entrepreneurial spirit.”

“Over the past two years, McPhy Energy has finalised its unique hydrogen storage technology. It is now ready to enter several promising market segments. We are convinced that solid state hydrogen storage will be one of the winning solutions to address the growing need for green and large-scale energy storage,” says Bart Diels, Partner at Gimv. “McPhy Energy signifies our first Cleantech deal in France, where Gimv already concluded two other venture capital transactions in the past twelve months.“

"McPhy Energy represents a great opportunity to continue the development of our activity and expertise in the Cleantech sector," explains Florent Thomann, Investment Manager at Amundi PEF. "The powerful, breakthrough technology, an advanced industrial product on the brink of market launch, combined with an experienced and complementary management team and a huge market potential convinced us to accompany McPhy. Its unique product offering will enable McPhy not only to make industrial hydrogen use easy, but to solve one of today’s major problems : the storage of energy," he added.

Clipperton Finance acted as Sole Manager of the transaction. “We are very proud to have been able to advise the company and its management through this critical phase of McPhy’s development, and very confident that the company’s syndicate of experienced investors will be instrumental for its success,” commented Nicolas von B├╝low and Thomas Neveux, the Partners at Clipperton Finance in charge of the operation.

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