Sam Altman Backs Helion in $500M Raise
November 5, 2021
a clean energy company committed to creating a new era of
plentiful, zero-carbon electricity from fusion, closed a
Series E raise of $500 million. The round was led by Sam
Altman, whose involvement in the company as investor and
chairman dates back to 2015. Existing investors, including
Dustin Moskovitz, Mithril Capital and Capricorn Investment
Group also participated in the round. The funding includes
the opportunity for an additional $1.7 billion dollars tied
to Helion reaching key performance milestones.
The capital will be used to complete the construction of
Polaris, Helion’s seventh generation fusion generator.
Building on the achievements of Helion’s pulsed non-ignition
fusion technology and the performance of its six
predecessors, Polaris is expected to be the first fusion
device capable of demonstrating net electricity production.
Helion plans to reach this milestone in 2024, paving the way
for future fusion power plants.
“This funding ensures that Helion will be the first
organization to generate electricity from fusion,” said Dr.
David Kirtley, Founder and CEO of Helion Energy. "Our 6th
prototype demonstrated that we can reach this pivotal
milestone. In just a few years we will show that the world
can count on fusion to be the zero-carbon energy source that
we desperately need."
June of this year Helion published results confirming it had
become the first private fusion company to heat a fusion
plasma to 100 million degrees Celsius, a critical milestone
on the path to commercial electricity from fusion. This was
followed by Helion breaking ground in July 2021 for the
Polaris facility in Everett, Washington, an event in which
Helion’s leadership, Governor Jay Inslee and other
Washington state elected officials participated.
“I’m delighted to be investing more in Helion, which is by
far the most promising approach to fusion I’ve ever seen,”
said Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI and former President of Y
Combinator, who now serves as Helion’s executive chairman.
“With a tiny fraction of the money spent on other fusion
efforts, and the culture of a startup, this team has a clear
path to net electricity. If Helion is successful, we can
avert climate disaster and provide a much better quality of
life for people.”