US-based Thea Energy has raised $20m in its Series A funding round to support its efforts to commercialising fusion energy.  

The funding was led by Prelude Ventures, with contributions from a consortium of investors, including 11.2 Capital, Anglo American, Hitachi Ventures, Lowercarbon Capital, Mercator Partners, Orion Industrial Ventures, and Starlight Ventures. 

Thea Energy, established in 2022, aims to capitalise on recent advancements in stellarator physics and engineering.  

A stellarator is a fusion reactor designed to produce electricity by fusing atoms together.  

The startup is said to be developing the stellarator concept by utilising computer-controlled planar coil arrays, which simplify the typically complex modular magnets used in other stellarator designs. 

Thea Energy said the proceeds will be used for the development of its proprietary superconducting planar coil magnet array systems.  

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The investment will also be used to support the design and simulation of Eos, the company’s large-scale integrated neutron source stellarator system, and further expand its team. 

Thea Energy co-founder and CEO Brian Berzin said: “With the support of this distinguished group of investors, we will continue to advance our fusion technology to address the growing energy demands of humanity by providing a clean, safe, and abundant source of fusion power.  

“Company progress on core intellectual property, magnet systems, and the Eos stellarator has proven the determination and know-how of our team. In our next phase, we will be constructing our planar coil magnet systems at scale while further expanding our team of fusion and commercialization experts.” 

Prelude Ventures managing director Mark Cupta said: “In meeting with the Thea Energy team, it became clear that they are not only leaders in the fields of plasma physics and fusion systems engineering, but also highly passionate about creating a sustainable future.  

“Thea Energy’s first-generation fusion system, Eos, will show a clear path to deploying fusion power plants and its development is not contingent on further scientific breakthroughs.” 

In a related development, Proxima Fusion, a German startup, secured over €7.5m (approximately $8m) in November 2023 for its own stellarator project.  

Proxima Fusion, which was spun out of the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in January 2023, has attracted investments from Bosch, the FlixFounders fund, and a group of angel investors.