Kyoto Fusioneering, a Japan-based fusion energy startup, said Wednesday it has raised 1.33 billion yen ($11.7 million) in its latest round of funding, bringing the total amount of funds raised by the startup. to 1.67 billion yen ($ 14.7 million).

The oversubscribed series B funding round was supported by existing investors, Coral Capital Co., and underwritten by five new investors from some of Japan’s top venture capital (VC) firms: Daiwa Corporate Investment, DBJ Capital, JAFCO Group, JGC MIRAI Innovation Fund and JIC Venture Growth Investments, Kyoto Fusioneering said in a statement.

Alongside this capital investment, Kyoto Fusioneering has also arranged unsecured loan agreements totaling 800 million yen ($7 million) with major Japanese financial institutions such as the Bank of Kyoto, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and MUFG Bank.

Kyoto Fusioneering said that this agreement strengthens the company’s fundraising capabilities in terms of both equity and debt financing.

Kyoto Fusioneering said it will use the funds acquired through this investment round, as well as the knowledge of its new investors, to accelerate its research and expand the business to capture new areas of the budding fusion technology market.

In particular, Kyoto Fusioneering will use funds for the concentrated development of its plant engineering technologies for plasma heating (gyrotrons) and heat extraction (blankets), which are required for fusion reactor projects currently under development worldwide.

The company will also accelerate its global expansion to recruit talented engineers and business professionals globally, including at its subsidiary in the United Kingdom, whilst at the same time furthering its reach by leveraging existing industrial capabilities unique to Japan.

Kyoto Fusioneering is a privately held technology start-up founded in 2019, with its headquarters in Kyoto, Japan. The company is focused on developing advanced technologies for commercial fusion reactors, including gyrotron systems, tritium fuel cycle technologies, and breeding blankets for tritium production and power generation. The company is focused on innovative solutions that are simultaneously high-performance and commercially viable. Supporting both public and private fusion developers around the world, the company will accelerate the realization of fusion as the ultimate energy source for humankind.

Coral Capital Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer James Riney said that climate change is an existential threat to humanity, and a fusion energy future, if achieved, could be the silver bullet that literally saves the world.

“With Japan’s high energy dependency, technological prowess, and history with nuclear energy, we believe that this country is well positioned to be a global leader in this space. While many startups talk about how they want to change the world, this company is actually doing it. We’re excited to back Kyoto Fusioneering once again, and to see their incredible progress toward building out a fusion energy future,” he added.

Meanwhile, Daiwa Corporate Investment Co., Ltd. Investment Department Associate Director Sho Sengoku said that Kyoto Fusioneering is made up of world-leading scientists and technologies, both of which allows them to lead the way in fusion power generation.

“The mission they are pursuing is a great contribution to the sustainable development goals (SDGs), which we support. We have been paying attention to Kyoto Fusioneering since the last round of their investment and we are very proud to have the opportunity to invest in this project and support the challenge to achieve a carbon-neutral society,” he said.

DBJ Capital Co., Ltd. Senior Investment Manager Yoshitake Ishimoto said he  believed that the use of nuclear fusion technology, which can fundamentally solve environmental problems, is essential for the future development of the world’s energy industry.

“We decided to invest in Kyoto Fusioneering because it has already expanded its business globally and is highly regarded abroad, and we are attracted by the vision of the management team and the potential for further growth in this area. We expect that Kyoto Fusioneering will grow into a leading company in the Japanese fusion industry in the near future, and DBJ Capital, as a venture capital company of a government-affiliated financial institution, would like to provide strong support for the development of this new industry,” he added.

JAFCO Group Co., Ltd. Partner Naoki Sato and JAFCO Group Co., Ltd. West Japan Branch Office Branch Manager Mizuki Takahara opined that the management of Kyoto Fusioneering, led by Professor Konishi of Kyoto University, who has been leading fusion projects including ITER (international nuclear fusion research and engineering megaproject) for a long time, strongly sympathized with their desire to support fusion technology through manufacturing.

“Research into nuclear fusion began in earnest shortly after the war, and Japan has long been a driving force behind its contribution. With this strong history in mind, JAFCO Group is fully committed to the adventure that Kyoto Fusioneering is about to embark on,” they said.

JGC Japan Corporation Representative Director, President Shoji Yamada said that nuclear fusion is attracting attention as one of the best energy solutions to current global environmental problems.

“Kyoto Fusioneeringis a unique fusion start-up and we expect the company to play an important role in making fusion power a reality. With our investment, we will also seek technological synergies with the JGC Group in the existing energy industry,” he said.

JGC MIRAI Innovation Fund General Partner Global Brain Corporation Chief Executive Officer Yasuhiko Yurimoto said that the global risk of climate change is attracting attention in the startup industry, and the fund has decided to invest in Kyoto Fusioneering, which aims to deliver clean energy from nuclear fusion to society through advanced Japanese technology.

“We are impressed by the excellent management and technical personnel in the company, and we will provide strong support to Kyoto Fusioneeringis. In particular, we aim to promote fusion technology globally with the JGC Group, and at the same time, we will work together with Kyoto Fusioneeringis to realize a decarbonized society,” he sadi.

JIC Venture Growth Investments Co., Ltd.  Principal Yuki Kuwabara said that nuclear fusion is expected to be a clean energy source with effectively unlimited resources and a low environmental impact.

“For many years it has been called ‘humankind’s dream’, and thanks to years of research and development around the world, the dream is finally on the path to becoming a reality. The decision to invest in Kyoto Fusioneering was based on the company’s recognition of its potential to develop world-leading engineering solutions for fusion reactors on a global scale, leveraging its long history of fusion research and its network of Japanese companies with unique manufacturing capabilities. We hope that this funding will accelerate the company’s growth and will ultimately contribute to the practical application of nuclear fusion,” he said.

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