Bloom Energy, developer of fuel cell technology capable of deriving energy from a wide range of fuels, announced that it plans to raise $150 million in sixth-round capital to establish a market for its product — which has yet to launch. The Sunnyvale, Calif. company says it has booked most of this funding with Advanced Equities Investment. It has been valued at $1.45 billion.
Bloom says it expects to bring in billions of dollars in revenue over the next couple of years by riding the green technology trend, cutting energy costs for users and reducing their carbon footprints. To do so, it will sell and lease its fuel cell systems. It is also playing with the idea of purchasing power through a subsidiary (which has yet to be formed). First developed by NASA, the company’s cells are made out of cheap materials but are able to run at higher temperatures and have the capacity to store as well as make energy. They operate by converting natural gas and some renewable feedstocks into hydrogen. Just one cell can generate enough electricity for a home or small business.
Formerly Ion America, Bloom is notable for being the first cleantech investment for Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a firm that is now highly involved in the green technology space (Al Gore is a partner).