Hystar raises USD 26mn to scale up to full commercial operations

January 16, 2023

Press release from Hystar

Series B funding round co-led by AP Ventures and Mitsubishi Corporation.

Hystar AS, the Norwegian high-tech hydrogen company, today announces a Series B funding round of USD 26mn to rapidly scale-up to full commercial operations with an automated GW-capacity production line by 2025. The injection of capital, raised through equity, will also be used to fuel Oslo-headquartered Hystar’s growth, expansion into new markets, and ability to deliver on larger (100 MW and beyond) projects.

The round was co-led by AP Ventures and Mitsubishi Corporation. Additional investors in the round included Finindus, Nippon Steel Trading, Hillhouse Investment and Trustbridge Partners, alongside existing investors SINTEF Ventures and Firda.

Hystar’s PEM electrolysers are the most efficient and safest in the world and have been designed for mass manufacturing from the very beginning. The ultra-efficient design, which is patented and unique to Hystar, boasts a 90% thinner membrane than conventional electrolysers, enabling the production of up to 150% more green hydrogen.

Hystar’s patented technology is a game-changer when it comes to tackling hard-to-abate sectors at scale, such as steel, ammonia, and heavy-duty transportation. The global steel industry alone, for example, will require 52 million tonnes of green hydrogen annually to decarbonize by 2050 according to Wood Mackenzie.

Fredrik Mowill, CEO of Hystar, said of the funding round: “Since our inception, we have been committed to rapidly scaling up to ensure the widespread commercial deployment of our game-changing technology. We are therefore excited to have closed our Series B funding round with such high-quality industrial and financial investors who can contribute to accelerating our growth. We look forward to working with our new shareholders to explore joint opportunities to deploy green hydrogen projects at scale. We’re also very happy that our existing shareholders, with AP Ventures in the lead, have continued their strong support of Hystar.”

Charlie Clark, Investment Manager, AP Ventures, said of their investment in Hystar: “We have been hugely impressed by the technical results and growth that Hystar has delivered over the past few years. We are pleased to have co-led this Series B funding round alongside Mitsubishi Corporation to enable Hystar to deploy automated capacity to scale the production of its world-leading PEM electrolyser technology. We look forward to continuing to support Hystar as it works to produce ultra-efficient green hydrogen which will be vital to support global efforts to decarbonize industry and society.”

Toshihiro Hayashi, General Manager, Mineral Resources Group at Mitsubishi Corporation, added: “Hystar has a critical role to play in decarbonizing global industry, which aligns with our strategic plan to invest in sustainable solutions for decarbonized societies. Green hydrogen is one of the key focuses for Mitsubishi Corporation and we believe Hystar’s unique technology has the potential to significantly impact its large-scale deployment. We look forward to working with Hystar as they ramp up to widespread commercialization and realize their game-changing ambitions for green hydrogen.”

Hans Maenhout, Investment Director at Finindus, said of their investment: “A lower cost and increased flexibility of green hydrogen production is the key to success when it comes to the role hydrogen has to play in decarbonizing our society. This is exactly what the Hystar technology provides. Add to that the intrinsic safety of Hystar’s electrolysers, as well as the design for mass-manufacturing approach which allows for utilizing existing supply chains, and you have an excellent value proposition to offer to industrial customers such as ArcelorMittal, the world’s second largest steel manufacturer and Finindus’ key industrial partner.”

Luke Li, Founding Partner at Hillhouse Investment, added: “The scale of decarbonization required for global industry cannot be underestimated; it is undoubtedly across these applications where green hydrogen will have its most profound impact. Hystar understands that, and its plans to commercialization in partnership with major industry players will pave the way for significant progress and a greener future – a vision Hillhouse is proud to support.”


About Hystar | www.hystar.com
Hystar makes highly efficient PEM electrolysers for the large-scale production of green hydrogen, aiming to be a global leader in the electrolyser market within this decade. Hystar’s patented technology has a key role to play in decarbonizing hard-to-abate sectors and Hystar is scaling quickly to meet demand. With its game-changing technology, Hystar plays a key role in a greener, more sustainable future.

Located in Høvik, Norway, Hystar is building an Innovation Centre to support its R&D and manufacturing capabilities. By 2025, Hystar will install its first automated GW manufacturing facility. As a spin-off from SINTEF, one of Europe’s leading research organizations, Hystar has 15 years history of research into PEM technology. With more than 5,000 hours of in-house testing, Hystar’s technology has been proven to use significantly less energy than conventional PEM electrolysers, enabling a substantial increase in hydrogen production output.

In June 2021, Hystar raised more than NOK 50 million (£4.2million) to further develop and commercialise their proprietary PEM electrolysis technology. AP Ventures, a significant investor in breakthrough hydrogen technologies, led the fundraising, alongside SINTEF Ventures, the investment fund of the SINTEF research institute, and Firda, a pioneering early-stage investor in Norway. In October 2022, Hystar received the prestigious 2022 F-Cell Innovation Award for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells.

About AP Ventures | www.apventures.com
Headquartered in London, AP Ventures manages venture capital funds with a global mandate to invest in pioneering new technologies and businesses which aim to solve global challenges such as renewable energy integration, resource scarcity and a growing population.

The existing portfolio is focused on the hydrogen value chain and includes investments in Altergy Systems, C-Zero, ERGOSUP, Greyrock Energy, Hydrogen Refueling Solutions, HyET, Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies, Infinium, Insplorion, Plug Power, Starfire Energy and ZEG Power. AP Ventures is led by Andrew Hinkly (Managing Partner) and Kevin Eggers (Partner). Investors include Anglo-American Platinum, Impala Platinum, the Mirai Creation Fund, Mitsubishi Corporation, Plastic Omnium, the Public Investment Corporation and Sumitomo Corporation. The Hystar deal was led by investment team members Charlie Clark and Yonatan Sher.

About Mitsubishi Corporation | www.mitsubishicorp.com
Established in 1954 and headquartered in Tokyo, Mitsubishi Corporation engages in a wide range of businesses spanning multiple industries. These are overseen by its Industry DX Group and 10 Business Groups: Natural Gas, Industrial Materials, Petroleum & Chemicals, Mineral Resources, Industrial Infrastructure, Automotive & Mobility, Food Industry, Consumer Industry, Power Solution, and Urban Development.

About NIPPON STEEL TRADING CORPORATION | www.nst.nipponsteel.com/en
Established in 1977 and headquartered in Tokyo, NIPPON STEEL TRADING CORPORATION engages in wide range of businesses and has been expanding by leveraging the diversified development of marketing and import/export of steel/metal, industrial supply and infrastructure, foodstuffs, textiles and trying to preserve and improve the global environment.

About Finindus | www.finindus.be
Finindus is a Belgium-based investment company funded by ArcelorMittal and the Flemish Region and is linked to OCAS, a world class metal research centre with campuses in Zelzate and Zwijnaarde (Belgium). Finindus provides early stage and growth financing (both equity and debt) to innovative technology companies active in the field of materials (including material processing), sustainable manufacturing and industry 4.0. Finindus invests across Europe, with Flanders as a home base and sweet spot, and across the globe for investment opportunities in technologies at the centre of our core domains and in line with the strategic interests and areas of expertise of our shareholders.

About Hillhouse Investment | www.hillhouseinvestment.com
Founded in 2005, Hillhouse Investment is a global private equity firm of investment professionals and operating executives who are focused on building and investing in high quality business franchises that achieve sustainable growth. Independent proprietary research and industry expertise, in conjunction with world-class operating and management capabilities, are key to our investment approach. Hillhouse Investment partners with exceptional entrepreneurs and management teams to create value, often with a focus on innovation and growth. Hillhouse Investment invests in the fields of healthcare, business services, broad consumption, and industrials. Hillhouse manages assets on behalf of institutional clients from across the globe.

About Trustbridge Parners | www.trustbridgepartners.com
Trustbridge is a mission-driven growth equity firm founded in 2006 with approximately $8 billion under management. Headquartered in Shanghai, China, the company also has offices in Hong Kong and Boston. Trustbridge Partners invests globally in innovative, high quality growth opportunities in various stages across Technology, Healthcare and Media. Utilizing a growing, global portfolio and deep operational expertise, the firm has a particular focus on helping its portfolio companies enter new international markets, including China.

About SINTEF Ventures | www.sintef.no
Sintef is one of Europe’s largest research institutes with multidisciplinary expertise in science and technology. SINTEF Venture V is an early-stage investment fund focused on the commercialization of research results. The fund has a capital base of NOK 500 million provided by SINTEF, the European Investment Fund and a number of private institutional Norwegian investors. The European Investment Fund (EIF) is the EU’s instrument for investing in equity funds in the EEA area. The investment in SINTEF Venture V, which is EIF’s largest investment in Norway, has been made possible through funds from InnovFin Equity and financial instruments under the EU’s Horizon 2020.

About Firda | www.firda.com
Firda is an investment company founded by serial entrepreneur Geir Førre, after his 3 successful exits with Energy Micro, Chipcon and Prox Dynamics. Since 2015 Firda has been an active technology investor with a focus on Norwegian technology companies that are highly scalable and have a positive impact on the world. Firda’s current portfolio includes Airthings, Ardoq, Disruptive Technologies and Zivid.

Originally published on 11 January.

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