Intelligent Energy Ltd., a maker of fuel cells for cars, businesses and homes, raised $35 million to finance expansion as demand for small-scale power generation boosts sales of the hydrogen-based devices in Asia.
Intelligent Energy raised most of the funds from institutional investors in London and private equity firms, Chief Executive Officer Henri Winand said yesterday by phone. Investors included Artemis Global Energy, Altima Partners LLP and F&C Asset Management Plc, according to the company.
The money will fund stationary projects such as distributed energy generation, which refers to small-scale power production near the point of use. Asian demand for cells at car fueling stations, as a primary or backup power source for businesses and homes, and in off-grid areas has grown as governments seek to increase energy efficiency amid burgeoning consumption.
“For distributed generation our key market is India, and China is also a growth market,” Winand said. “We are in talks with companies in China at the moment to form partnerships.”
Intelligent Energy values the market for stationary power applications at $150 billion and the consumer electronic power market at about $410 billion, according to an e-mailed statement from the Loughborough, England-based company. Its sales totaled about $20 million in the year through September and will at least double by the end of September 2012, Winand said.
Fuel cells that are used to generate electricity at the point of use help to avoid transmission losses, unlike the power from big remote plants. In the auto industry, Intelligent Energy has added three business clients in 18 months in the Far East and Europe, Winand said. It has also struck an “outline deal with a large contract manufacturer” and is “exploring two telecom equipment companies,” he said, without elaborating.
Intelligent Energy is valued at about $500 million and has raised 120 million pounds ($190 million) to date, Winand said. It’s ready for an initial share sale should an offering “make sense,” the CEO said.