Vodafone, one of the world’s largest mobile communications companies, made its first-ever investment in a clean-tech company when it backed Israel’s CellEra, a leading developer of cost-effective Platinum Free Fuel Cell technology.
Vodafone’s VC arm – Vodafone Ventures – and VC fund Carmel Ventures led CellEra’s second financing round that raised $9.2 million. VC fund Israel Cleantech Ventures, the company’s major shareholder, B-2-V Partners and private investors also participated in the funding round.
The venture also marked Vodafone’s first ever investment in Israel.
“We are highly excited with this investment and the added value it brings our company,” said Ziv Gottesfeld, CEO of CellEra. “Beyond the available capital, Vodafone’s investment will serve to facilitate our approach to the telecommunications market place, and our ability to direct our cost-effective, clean-energy fuel cell technology towards the requirements of global telecommunication operators.”
CellEra has developed a technology that reduces electric fuel cell costs. The company says its technology is targeted at the $3 billion telecommunications supplemental-power market, “offering an affordable, clean and safe alternative to lead-acid batteries and diesel generators.”
“After a long period of exploration for innovative, unique and disruptive renewable energy technologies, we believe we found all these qualities in CellEra,” said Ori Bendori, General Partner of Carmel Ventures who joined CellEra’s board.
CellEra was founded in 2007 and is based in Caesarea.