September 3, 2020
TDK Ventures invests in ammonia-to-energy hydrogen fuel cell company GenCell
Fuel cell company GenCell is TDK Ventures first investment in the renewable energy space
The Israel-based company develops alkaline fuel cell stacks in the backup power and hydrogen fuel cell market
GenCell will leverage TDK Corporation’s global reach and deep expertise in at-scale manufacturing and power electronics
TDK Corporation (TSE: 6762) announced today that subsidiary TDK Ventures Inc. adds GenCell, a world leader in hydrogen and ammonia fuel cell technologies, to its growing investment portfolio. GenCell is the first investment in renewable energy by the TDK corporate venture capital (CVC) fund since its July 2019 launch. TDK Ventures Inc. was launched with a mission to invest in innovative startups that focus on digital and energy transformation and contribute to sustainability.
GenCell solutions will comprise a key component of the emerging hydrogen economy, poised to blossom in the next few years. GenCell’s emission-free alkaline fuel cells could truly power fully off-grid rural areas where electricity is not a commodity, contributing to TDK Ventures’ sustainability goals and investment thesis.
“TDK is a strong technology and business partner, with extensive expertise in roll-to-roll coating, manufacturing, and power electronic supply components,” said Rami Reshef, CEO of GenCell. “We deliver the most advanced fuel cell solutions that significantly reduce our customers’ carbon footprint with unprecedented cost savings, efficiency, and performance. We currently operate in 18 countries and consistently look to partners to assist in the performance enhancement of our fuel cells and to increase our business footprint. TDK’s knowledge in process improvement, at-scale manufacturing and power supplies will help us deliver even higher-performance green products with lower total cost of ownership.”
According to Managing Director of TDK Ventures, Nicolas Sauvage, “TDK Ventures specifically scouted for fuel cell companies in the backup storage and off-grid power market and found that very few address the obstacles barring access to hydrogen fuel. GenCell invented a new fuel cell technology that uses ubiquitously-available ammonia as their fuel for the new system, which cracks ammonia into hydrogen and generates electricity.”
“With our expertise in fuel retail, we believe our strategic partnership with GenCell makes addressing the hydrogen economy of the future possible,” said Nir Sztern, the CEO of Paz Oil, who led GenCell’s investment round.
GenCell was founded in 2011 with a vision to offer affordable, clean power for humanity, enabling businesses to “Say No to Diesel” and render diesel generators obsolete. Leveraging core competencies in catalysis and materials science, GenCell’s unique alkaline fuel cell technologies target long-duration backup telecom base stations, data centers, medical facilities, utilities as well as totally off-grid power. GenCell’s fuel cells are operational at extreme environments of -25°C to 95% relative humidity at 2,250m altitude, as well as tested and certified to operate during earthquakes.
About TDK Corporation
TDK Corporation is a world leader in electronic solutions for the smart society based in Tokyo, Japan. Built on a foundation of material sciences mastery, TDK welcomes societal transformation by resolutely remaining at the forefront of technological evolution and deliberately “Attracting Tomorrow.” It was established in 1935 to commercialize ferrite, a key material in electronic and magnetic products. TDK's comprehensive, innovation-driven portfolio features passive components such as ceramic, aluminum electrolytic and film capacitors, as well as magnetics, high-frequency, and piezo and protection devices. The product spectrum also includes sensors and sensor systems such as temperature and pressure, magnetic, and MEMS sensors. In addition, TDK provides power supplies and energy devices, magnetic heads and more. These products are marketed under the product brands TDK, EPCOS, InvenSense, Micronas, Tronics and TDK-Lambda. TDK focuses on demanding markets in automotive, industrial and consumer electronics, and information and communication technology. The company has a network of design and manufacturing locations and sales offices in Asia, Europe, and in North and South America. In fiscal 2020, TDK posted total sales of USD 12.5 billion and employed about 107,000 people worldwide.
About TDK Ventures
TDK Ventures Inc. invests in startups to bolster innovation in materials science, energy/power and related areas typically underrepresented in venture capital portfolios. Established in 2019 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of TDK Corporation, the corporate venture company’s vision is to propel the digital and energy transformations of segments such as health and wellness, next-generation transportation, robotics and industrial, mixed reality and the wider IoT/IIoT markets. TDK Ventures will co-invest and support promising portfolio companies by providing technical expertise and access to global markets where TDK operates. Interested startups or investment partners may contact TDK Ventures: www.tdk-ventures.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About GenCell Energy
GenCell Energy fuel cell solutions offer affordable, clean power for humanity, enabling businesses to Say No to Diesel and render diesel generators obsolete. Using ultra-reliable fuel cell technology that powers American and Russian spacecraft, we deliver backup power for utilities, homeland security, healthcare and automated industries. Our revolutionary process to create hydrogen-on-demand from anhydrous ammonia (NH3) enables our fuel cell solutions to also provide primary power for off-grid and poor-grid telecom, as well as rural electrification. GenCell Energy numbers more than 80 employees, including many veterans of Space and submarine projects. The company is headquartered in Israel with a worldwide distribution and support network and retains unique intellectual property that includes patents, trade secrets and know-how. Learn more about GenCell here: www.gencellenergy.com