Bloom Energy Looking for $150 Million in Funding

Written By Brianna Panzica

Posted June 8, 2012

Startup Bloom Energy Corp. began as Ion America in 2001 amid research by DR. K.R. Sridhar. A year later it became the first cleantech company funded by Kleiner Perkins, and in 2008 the company took off after making its first sale to Google (NASDAQ: GOOG).

Now, the company also supports clients like Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE), and Ebay (NASDAQ: EBAY) and is valued at $2.7 billion.

Bloom Energy’s main product is its energy servers, known as Bloom Energy Servers or Bloom Boxes, which contain solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). These Boom Boxes can use a number of different fuels to produce energy, including natural gas or biomass, and the resultant electricity produces significantly less CO2 emissions than a regular generator.

And they’re small enough to provide on-site power, offering the possibility of self-sufficiency to a company.

When Bloom Energy first began shipping Bloom Boxes to Google, the systems produced 100kW of power. Now, the new design produces 200kW.

And the company is continuing to grow. Many have speculated about an upcoming IPO for the company, though officials have offered no indication that this will occur in the near future.

They are, however, planning for another round of funding.

VentureWire revealed today that Bloom Energy will extend the Series G round funding of $150 million that occurred last year in an effort to raise an additional $150 million.

The privately held company will offer shares to investors for $25.76 apiece, up from the $20 per share they traded at recently.

If the company brings in the funding, it will be valued at $3 billion. The closing will occur next week on Friday, June 15.

Bloom Energy is currently working on a large project at the University of Delaware, which is currently planned for 30 megawatts but could expand to 50 megawatts. That would make it the company’s largest project.

In addition, it is working in conjunction with SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) to help Apple reach its goal of making its Maiden, North Carolina data center completely renewable by 2013.

Apple was recently criticized by Greenpeace for the amount of coal it uses at its data centers, and it is making the move to remove coal from all three centers.

Bloom will provide the fuel cells for the center while SunPower Corp. will install solar panels at the site.

Bloom’s new round of funding will be marketed by Advanced Equities. If it is successful, Bloom will have brought in $800 million in fundraising.

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