Our Funds / Spinout News

Bramble energy secures significant new capital to accelerate its unique fuel cell deployment

4 August 2020

Bramble Energy, the world’s most scalable hydrogen fuel cell company has raised a £5m Series A round. BGF led the round and was joined by existing investors including IP Group, Parkwalk Advisors, and UCL Technology Fund.

Bramble Energy has developed the only technology capable of producing gigawatts of hydrogen fuel cells using existing global manufacturing resources, dramatically reducing the time to market and investment needed versus existing fuel cell designs. Hydrogen fuel cells generate electric power from an electrochemical reaction rather than combustion, thereby eliminating carbon emissions from the power unit and producing only water and heat as by-products.

Addressing a key component of the world’s transition to a low-carbon economy, Bramble Energy has created a patent protected fuel cell that can be manufactured in almost all printed circuit board (PCB) factories world-wide. This solves the key challenges of lead times, up-front investment, manufacturing cost and scalability in the production of hydrogen fuel cells. The use of hydrogen as a key part of global efforts to drive towards net-zero emissions is increasingly recognised, most recently with the European Union adopting its own major Hydrogen Strategy in July.

Bramble Energy was founded in 2016 as a spinout from UCL and Imperial College London by Professor Dan Brett, Professor Anthony Kucernak and CEO Dr. Tom Mason.

The company has recently begun product acceptance testing with BOC/Linde (the UK’s largest industrial hydrogen producer) to supply into their Hymera product range. Funding will support the launch of Bramble Energy’s portable power product range, starting with a low cost, flexible 20W unit, shortly followed by 60W and 100W versions, that are zero-emissions replacements for diesel generator technologies. The rapid development of high power density, liquid-cooled fuel cell systems is also now underway, using the same scalable low-cost technology platform.

Dr Tom Mason, co-founder and CEO at Bramble Energy said: “This is a hugely exciting time for Bramble Energy, with many eyes focused on the UK’s leadership role in the transition to a greener economy. We are solving some of the greatest barriers to the adoption of fuel cells – through our ground-breaking manufacturing route, scale-up potential and low-cost production.

“BGF understands our mission, culture and technical capabilities. We are pleased to have them on board, backing our growth and expansion at a critical juncture for the business.”

George Mills at BGF said: “Bramble has created a world-first in the production of hydrogen fuel cells, with the potential to transform a global and growing market. Critically, Bramble has inherent scale-up potential with fuel cells that can be made in PCB factories around the world. BGF is backing a pioneering team with significant commercial acumen. As the UK advances towards its greener future, the cleantech industry is one of increasing interest to BGF, with our capital and financial firepower designed to help accelerate growth and provide long-term partnerships.”

David Grimm, Investment Director, UCL Technology Fund said: “This is a fantastic example of a world leading technology successfully emerging from two of Europe’s leading academic institutions, UCL and Imperial, and making a real positive impact which will benefit the planet. We’re delighted to continue supporting this great team to make that happen.”

Chris Gibbs, Senior Business Manager, UCLB said:  “Bramble Energy is a fantastic story of university collaboration leading to game-changing innovation. The great team at Bramble stands poised to transform 21st century energy and to reduce the world’s carbon footprint with this new investment from an impressive syndicate of experienced VCs.”

Jamie Vollbracht, Cleantech Partner at IP Group and acting Bramble Energy Chair said: “Bramble’s distinctive, highly scalable technology is exactly what is needed for hydrogen fuel cells to go mainstream. We are delighted to welcome BGF to the board following this funding round, as we move into an exciting phase of rapid growth for the business.”