Climate Finance | November 8, 2021

Helion Energy rakes in $500 million to (really) generate fusion energy

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, November 8 — The half-billion dollar investment, the largest ever investment for a private fusion venture, reflects growing confidence the clean energy game-changer might really be ‘just around the corner’ this time (for context, see “Long coming but slow to arrive, fusion energy approaches a milestone on path to commercial deployment).

Redmond, Wash.-based Helion, along with Commonwealth Fusion, TAE Technologies and other venture-backed startups, are raising massive warchests to commercialize the holy grail of energy. Helion will use the Series E funding to complete its Polaris “pulsed magnetic fusion” prototype on the way to demonstrating positive net-electricity production in 2024.

“In just a few years we will show that the world can count on fusion to be the zero-carbon energy source that we desperately need,” said Helion’s David Kirtley.

Fusion unicorn

The Series E financing values Helion at $3 billion. Silicon Valley investor Sam Altman, who will become executive chairman, led the round with a $375 million investment, his largest ever. Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, Mithril Capital and Capricorn Investment Group also joined.

An additional $1.7 billion can be unlocked if Helion hits certain milestones. “If Helion is successful, we can avert climate disaster and provide a much better quality of life for people,” Altman said.