New Zealand-based hydrogen deep-tech startup Bspkl has raised $2.5 million in a seed funding round led by WNT Ventures. The company has created a new manufacturing process for a hydrogen electrolyser catalyst coated membrane. 

The fund raise also included Investible, the wider WNT Investor Group, and other investors. It includes a $750,000 repayable grant from Callaghan Innovation’s Technology Incubator Programme. 

The company will use the funds to support product development and launch for the global electrolyzer manufacturing market. The breakthrough technology, invented by co-founder and CTO Jérôme Leveneur, offers a more sustainable way to manufacture catalyst coated membranes (CCMs) for hydrogen electrolysers, which are essential components in the production of clean hydrogen. 

“We are very proud to be launching the company and completing our Seed round, this funding will support our New Zealand testing in preparation for product development and launch to the global community of electrolyser manufacturers,” said Bspkl’s co-founder and CEO, Christina Houlihan.

The company’s innovative approach reduces the amount of iridium and platinum required by 25 times, addressing the challenge of limited iridium availability and high costs that hinder the growth of the hydrogen industry. The company is set to conduct 18 to 24 months of R&D before moving toward commercialization.

“Bspkl has solved a huge challenge for the hydrogen electrolyser industry. We’ve cracked the iridium problem and we know how to manufacture it at scale, we are excited to bring this product to the electrolyser manufacturing market.” says Christina Houlihan. 

The green hydrogen market has expanded rapidly in recent years, driven by initiatives to decarbonize hydrogen production, government incentives, and the energy crisis caused by the Russia-Ukraine war. Bspkl aims to help accelerate the transition to a green economy by addressing key challenges in hydrogen production.

“We have a bold vision for the future of hydrogen production, and this capital round will support making that vision a reality,” said Jérôme Leveneur, co-founder, and Chief Technical Officer.

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