Here’s the 19-slide pitch deck Jolt, a climate tech startup curbing the cost of hydrogen power, used to raise $6 million
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- Barcelona-based Jolt is set on making hydrogen power cheaper, more efficient, and more durable.
- The startup just secured a $6.4 million Series A from impact investors Climentum and Ship2B.
- Take a peek inside the 19-slide redacted pitch deck it used to raise the fresh funds.
A Barcelona-based startup hoping to make hydrogen power cheaper, more efficient, and durable, just nabbed 6 million euros (around $6.4 million) in Series A funding.
Jolt, founded in 2022 as a spin-out of the Catalan Institute of Chemical Research, makes electrodes for electrolyzers and hydrogen fuel cells. Electrodes are conductors that carry electrons during electrolysis, the chemical process whereby electricity is used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.
Sustainable hydrogen is expected to play a big role in the decarbonized world. McKinsey tipped demand to reach 660 million tons by 2050, which would curb 20 percent of global emissions.
Electrodes are the “heart” of hydrogen, Jolt cofounder and CEO Leon Rizzi told Insider, but they are “genuinely not fit for purpose.”
“There will be no hydrogen industry without electrodes,” he said. “Imagine 40 years ago, we’ve invented the PC and everyone forgets about the microchip. Well, the electron is a microchip for electrolysis.”
Current processes of making electrodes are slow and energy intensive, which makes them expensive, Rizzi said. The startup hopes to bring down the cost of alkaline and AEM-activated electrodes, its current focus, while also increasing durability.
In a normal scenario, a base material known as substrate – often nickel for alkaline electrolysis, Rizzi said – is coated several times to achieve a specific surface area and conductivity. Each coating requires up to 500 degrees heat and must be left to “bake” for up to 50 minutes, Rizzi said.
Layers of coating can lead to cracking and flaking, which means electrodes can deactivate or become less efficient, and aren’t as durable as they should be, Rizzi added. “It’s like saying we’re going to sell you a car that does 100 miles an hour this year at the next 60 the year after. Oh, in about four or five years, it’s gonna break and you’re gonna have to replace the whole motor.”
Jolt makes an alternative coating, which requires 80 degree-heat for up to 60 seconds and can be done in an oven or via an infrared lamp.
The startup’s coating fuses into the top layer of the substrate without damaging it, Rizzi said. “It becomes one with the substrate, so there’s no cracking, there’s nowhere for the solution to penetrate, which means no flaking, no degradation, no deactivation, nothing.”
Jolt continues to stress-test its electrodes, with one test running over 11 months, Rizzi said.
The cash injection was led by European climate tech fund Climentum Capital and Spanish impact investor Ship2B Ventures. Axon Partners Group and two Catalan family offices joined alongside seed investor NET.
It brings the company’s total raised to 6.3 million euros. It will use the fresh funds to bolster headcount to 20 by the end of the year, with new hires in chemistry. With labs still based in the Catalan Institute of Chemical Research, Jolt will also build its first electrode production plant in Barcelona. Rizzi expects it to be operating and selling to customers by February 2024.
Check out the 19-slide pitch deck below: