TDK Ventures co-leads next round of financing in fusion-innovator Type One Energy

·8 min read
  • Madison, Wis.-based deep-tech startup Type One Energy is injecting new life into the development of fusion technologies through their innovations in magnetic confinement

  • Using frontier additive manufacturing and advanced engineering design, Type One Energy is pushing continuous-operation stellarator technology to the next generation

  • TDK Ventures invests in Type One Energy to accelerate a shared vision for a better energy future with fusion leading the way to complete decarbonization, boundless energy reserves, and greater energy affordability

  • Other co-leads include Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Doral Energy-Tech Ventures

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- TDK Corporation (TSE: 6762) announced today that subsidiary TDK Ventures is co-leading the latest round of financing in fusion-company Type One Energy. Joining them as co-leads are Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Doral Energy-Tech Ventures. This latest round will be used to scale the development and maturation of the startup's fusion power-plant concept leveraging continuous operation magnetic confinement. Led by a seasoned executive and complemented by world-renowned scientists coming from the University of Wisconsin, Oak Ridge National Lab, and Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics, Type One Energy is tackling the technical challenges that have kept fusion from becoming a practical reality with the latest advances in additive manufacturing and high-temperature superconductor magnets.

Fusion energy, the power of the stars, is inherently safe, because, on Earth, only a fraction of a gram of fuel can be burnt before the process self-terminates, and any off-normal event will lower the temperature of the fuel and extinguish the burn. The same foundation that makes fusion so safe is what also makes the process difficult. To be successful, the right conditions must be met, forcing enough particles together for a long enough period and at a hot enough temperature to enable fusion. The vast majority of fusion concepts involve pulsed operation, which requires a significant development to be used as a steady-state continuous baseload power plant – an ability, when unlocked, would tap into the projected $40-trillion fusion market and change the world.

To resolve these limitations, Type One Energy's fusion solution leverages stellarator technology, which is based on magnetic-confinement fusion, using carefully 3D-shaped magnetic fields to keep particles at high enough temperatures for nuclei to fuse. This is the most advanced "continuous" fusion reactor concept yet with its largest demonstration project, the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) reactor showing improving results and charting a path toward the energy breakeven. However, to achieve such an effective magnetic field, it has historically been difficult to engineer and manufacture complex geometry non-planar magnets with high precision. Taking a novel approach to the problem, Type One Energy leverages additive manufacturing and world-renowned expertise to design a system that can overcome the technical engineering challenges of the past. With the founding team consisting of world-renowned scientists, who built some of the world's most optimized stellarators in the past and spurred on by funding from the US Department of Energy, Type One Energy is already accelerating its technology to create a first ever continuous-operation fusion plant.

"We are honored to be chosen by TDK Ventures for its sustainable, mission-driven portfolio of companies. Type One Energy will benefit not only from TDK Ventures' investment but the support offered by TDK Goodness. We look forward to collaboratively scaling the immensely positive impact which fusion energy promises to have on the future of society and our environment," said Christofer Mowry, CEO of Type One Energy.

"Fusion represents the possibility of complete energy transformation and decarbonization, which can provide humanity the bright and green future we are all endeavoring to find," states Nicolas Sauvage, President of TDK Ventures. "We are proud to co-lead this latest round of financing in Type One Energy and help bring our mutual vision of a more sustainable world to fruition through fusion. The TDK Ventures team is excited to be able to add our TDK Goodness to our capital investment and accelerate their progress."

"Fusion is the ultimate energy source, and its successful commercialization will be a huge leap towards achieving clean and abundant energy for everyone," said Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures. "Advances in stellarator science, including Type One Energy's ability to execute a stellarator development project, provide the basis for a very exciting and promising path to practical fusion on the grid in the coming decades."

"Type One Energy has shown the promise of stellarator technology, effectively integrating advances in high-temperature superconductors to deliver a viable path to fusion power at scale," said Roee Furman, Managing Director at Doral Energy-Tech Ventures. "We at Doral are proud to partner with TDK Ventures as an enabling force with funding and support for Type One Energy's applied research and continued validation of this exciting technology's ability to help move us forward on the path to a clean energy future."

Along with financial backing, TDK Ventures is also providing network and industry exposure, expertise in the energy sector, and rapid commercialization to expedite and accelerate Type One Energy's goals to market.

The implications of fusion as a pathway for safe nuclear energy, given past historical events, cannot be overstated. To date, all industrial nuclear power plants have relied on fission – a chain reaction driven process that while excellent for power generation, if left unchecked can result in catastrophic safety concerns such as meltdown. The reason fusion is inherently safe is that it is the opposite process. Atoms are forced together until bonding occurs releasing energy. If any failure occurs, there is no safety issue, only the cessation of power generation. Nuclear power, with no meltdown risk.

To learn more about TDK Ventures, interested startups or investment partners should visit www.tdk-ventures.com or reach out at contact@tdk-ventures.com.

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 2022, TDK posted total sales of USD 15.6 billion and employed about 117,000 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 contact@tdk-ventures.com.

About Type One Energy

Type One Energy utilizes stellarator physics and engineering to bring a remarkable fusion power system to commercialization through innovations in high-temperature superconducting magnets and additive manufacturing. Our mission is to bring about a post-scarcity energy era powered by stellarator power plants fueled only by deuterium from water. For more information visit https://www.typeoneenergy.com/.

About Breakthrough Energy Ventures

Founded by Bill Gates and backed by many of the world's top business leaders, BEV has raised more than $2 billion in committed capital to support cutting-edge companies that are leading the world to net-zero emissions. BEV is a purpose-built investment firm that is seeking to invest, launch and scale global companies that will eliminate GHG emissions throughout the economy as soon as possible. BEV seeks true breakthroughs and is committed to supporting these entrepreneurs and companies by bringing to bear a unique combination of technical, operational, market and policy expertise.

BEV is a part of Breakthrough Energy, a network of investment vehicles, philanthropic programs, policy advocacy and other activities committed to scaling the technologies we need to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Visit www.breakthroughenergy.org to learn more.

About Doral Energy Tech Ventures

Doral Energy-Tech Ventures is the innovation and investment arm of the Doral Group, a global renewable energy and environmental infrastructure developer. Doral-Tech partners with inspiring entrepreneurs to build breakthrough companies taking on major global sustainability challenges. Doral-Tech invests in promising energy innovators, providing the expertise, capital and strategic support to bring to market groundbreaking technologies in a range of renewable energy and clean-tech related fields. For more information, visit www.doral-tech.com.

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