Germany wants to become the market leader in hydrogen. The startup Sunfire is already one of the most capitalized entrepreneurs in the industry – and is continuing to do so.

Co-founder Nils Aldag wants to use the investment to drive the growth and industrialization of Sunfire's technology.

215 million euros in equity plus 100 million in debt capital – that’s how much the Dresden startup Sunfire raised in its Series E financing. Existing VCs have increased their shares, such as Lightrock, Planet First Partners, Amazon Climate Pledge Fund and Blue Earth Capital.

Sunfire sells electrolysers in series production, i.e. systems for producing green hydrogen. In other words, the startup builds machines that can split water into its components, oxygen and hydrogen. The RWE Group is already relying on Sunfire's technology to produce renewable energy. And in February of this year, a Sunfire electrolysis plant was built in Finland.

Nils Aldag, Christian von Olshausen and Carl Berninghausen founded Sunfire in 2010. More than 500 employees work at locations in Germany and Switzerland.

Millions upon millions

As part of the Series E financing, Sunfire also received money from the European Investment Bank. As part of the InvestEU program, which supports scientific and technological innovation to ensure Europe remains competitive, Sunfire will receive a loan of up to 100 million euros. All large amounts.

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The startup secured a total of 195 million euros in investment money in the Series D financing in 2021 and 2022. According to its own information, it also has access to funding totaling 200 million euros – 162 million was given by the federal government last year. With all the millions, the question remains: unicorn status?

So a lot of money for Sunfire despite the crisis. However, the hydrogen economy is growing more slowly than expected, as Aldag told Handelsblatt.

Germany wants to be climate neutral by 2045. The federal government is also relying on hydrogen for this purpose. The first network of hydrogen pipes should be built by 2028. It should cover 1,800 kilometers. Hydrogen can be used to produce energy, for example in the steel industry or in aviation. The first trains in Germany ran on hydrogen in August 2022.


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