Commonwealth Fusion Systems claims to have raised $1.8 billion from investors. If these claims are true, Commonwealth has more financing than almost all other fusion companies.
A press release claims Commonwealth received over $1.8 billion in Series B funding on 1 December 2021. Series B financing is the second round of venture capital and private equity investment that a company receives. Commonwealth will use the money to fund the building of its ARC commercial fusion power plant.
The money came from Tiger Global Management, Bill Gates, Google, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff’s TIME Ventures, Jon Doerr, the Emerson Collective, JS Capital, an unidentified “major university endowment,” an unidentified pension fund, and others, the press release reveals. Tiger Global Management is a private and public equity investment firm in New York City that specializes in technology.
Commonwealth Fusion Receives more money than Industry
If the press release is accurate, Commonwealth could have more private financing than the rest of the private fusion industry. The Fusion Industry Association estimates all fusion companies received $1.7 billion in investments before October 2021.
However, another fusion company, Helion Energy, claims to have commitments for up to $1.8 billion in funding. Conversely, Helion admits to having only raised $500 million from private investors, such as Peter Thiel and Sam Altman.
Interestingly, The Boston Globe reports Commonwealth is the “best capitalized startup in Massachusetts.” Commonwealth has raised $1.7 billion, $500 million more than insurance company Devoted Health, which raised $1.2 billion.
Commonwealth will use the money to complete its campus on an old Army base in Devens, Massachusetts. The campus will house Commonwealth’s SPARC prototype fusion reactor.
MIT-Linked Company hopes to build first fusion power plant
Commonwealth is testing the world’s most powerful superconducting magnet at an old Nabisco warehouse in Cambridge, Massachusetts, WBUR reports. Commonwealth and MIT researchers unveiled the high temperature superconducting magnets in October. They will use the magnets to contain the super-hot plasma the SPARC generates.
Commonwealth Fusion Systems is the fusion company that spun out of the Massachusetts Institution of Technology (MIT). They base Commonwealth’s fusion technology on decades of MIT fusion research. They did that research at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center.
The current plan at Commonwealth is to build and a test the SPARC prototype reactor in Devens. They hope to complete the SPARC in 2025. The hope is that SPARC will produce ten times more energy than it produces, Commonwealth CEO Bob Mumgaard told WBUR.
First Fusion Power Plant could be in Massachusetts
If the SPARC works, Commonwealth will develop the world’s first fusion power plant they call ARC. Commonwealth claims they could complete the ARC in the early 2030s.
Commonwealth is a corporate-academic collaboration between MIT and a group of entrepreneur and engineers. Plasma Science and Fusion Center Director Dennis Whyte inspired Commonwealth’s founders. Several years ago, Whyte became convinced that researchers could build a commercial fusion reactor with off-the-shelf components within a decade.
Whyte and others cashed in by forming Commonwealth Fusion Systems. Since then Commonwealth has attracted some impressive investors, including Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures and George Soros’ Soros Fund Management LLC.