Vancouver and Rochester, NY-based electrochemical engineering startup Ionomr Innovations has closed a $26.7-million CAD ($20-million USD) Series A extension.
The financing was led by returning investors NGIF Cleantech Ventures and Pallasite Ventures, and saw participation from Shell Ventures, Chevron Technology Ventures, Finindus, Samsung Ventures, SAIC Capital, N.V. Bekaert, and Asahi Kasei.
According to a spokesperson from Ionomr, the round is an extension raised at a higher valuation. The startup’s last funding round totalling $18.7 million CAD was announced in early 2022. This funding brings its total Series A financing to $46.6 million CAD, and its total funding to $55.4 million CAD.
“The participation of leaders across our industry underscores that Ionomr is delivering proven competitive advantages to our customers and their system users.”Bill Haberlin
Founded in 2018 and spun out of Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University, Ionomr Innovations develops ion-exchange membranes and polymers, which are designed to be more efficient, cost-competitive solutions for the hydrogen economy that eliminate the need for expensive precious metal requirements for hydrogen production and CO2 electrolysis.
Ionomr’s materials, Pemion and Aemion, are designed for use in fuel cells, hydrogen production, and carbon capture and conversion processes. Last year, the startup was one of the 13 Canadian companies named to the Global Cleantech 100.
“We are delighted to receive the financial support of industry players that represent the full spectrum of the hydrogen ecosystem,” said Bill Haberlin, CEO of Ionomr Innovations. “The participation of leaders across our industry underscores that Ionomr is delivering proven competitive advantages to our customers and their system users.”
Over the past year, the green hydrogen industry has gained significant recognition for its potential role in the shift towards renewable energy. The province of Alberta, best known for its oil and gas economy, has been a particular proponent of hydrogen, in August investing $45 million into researchers, innovators, and companies focused on hydrogen technologies.
Hydrogen, often considered a clean energy source due to its lower greenhouse gas emissions when combusted, can also be derived from fossil fuels like natural gas and coal. As highlighted in a 2021 investigation by The Narwhal, some environmental advocates believe that energy sources completely independent of fossil fuels, such as solar and wind power, should be prioritized in sustainable energy strategies.
Per Crunchbase, Ionomr has also received several grants from federal and provincial government entities during its history, including $2.35 million from the British Columbia Innovative Clean Energy Fund in 2018, alongside another $2.35 million from Sustainable Development Technology Canada.
The new funding will expand the production of Ionomr’s ion-exchange membranes and polymers. Ionomr claims that Aemion and Pemion could offer more efficient and cost-effective solutions, potentially reducing the need for expensive precious metals in hydrogen production and CO2 electrolysis, and facilitating the development of high-temperature fuel cell applications.
Feature image source Ionomr Innovations.