Bloom Energy Corp., the maker of fuel cell-based power generators, is raising about $100 million in a follow-on tranche to a round of venture funding it raised last year, according to a person familiar with the situation.Previously:
In 2009 the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company closed on more than $100 million from investors, giving the company a valuation of between $1 billion and $2 billion, the person said. VentureWire reported last year the company was marketing the round at a pre-money valuation of $1.45 billion.
It is now attempting to raise more capital, as part of the same round, that would help the company increase the manufacturing of its power generators. It's looking for strategic and financial investors.
However, this additional funding is not crucial, the person said, adding that the company may decide to just close the round without adding more money. In total, Bloom has raised more than $400 million in equity so far. The company is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, New Enterprise Associates, Morgan Stanley and others.
The amount of funding reflects the hope among the investors and executives of the company that Bloom's products will change distributed power generation in the U.S. and globally. Unlike solar, for example, the Bloom power generators provide constant, base power.
The company's business model right now is to install its 100 kilowatt power generators at the sites of commercial customers. Google Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Staples Inc. and eBay Inc. are some of the customers. Bloom sells the power to the customers, but owns the generators. As of early March it has made 30 power generators in total.
The order book is very big, said the person, and demand far outpaces Bloom's ability to deliver. It's mostly selling in California, where rebates available to buyers of fuel cell units are high and where the company is nearby to offer maintenance and other services....MORE
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