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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Kevin Jackson, Peter Silva, Greg Wind, Glenn Rossman

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Oorja Closes Series E Funding for Global Expansion in Multi-Billion Fuel Cell Market

Oorja, the world leader in liquid fuel cell technology, today announced the close of a Series E investment round. New investor Mingxin China Growth Fund joined previous backers including DAG Ventures in the oversubscribed round. Oorja’s patented Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC) are powered by an abundant and readily-available liquid fuel, methanol.

“Oorja has emerged successfully from the wave and subsequent crash in energy tech investing with our Direct Methanol Fuel Cell technology,” said Dr. Sanjiv Malhotra, CEO and president of Oorja. “The continued commitment from international investors is a resounding endorsement of the company’s technical accomplishments, operational successes and vision for global growth into massive addressable markets.”

The global fuel cell industry surpassed $1 billion in revenue in 2012, growing from $847.5 million in 2011 to $1.3 billion in 2012.1 The OorjaPac DMFC system is already in use by some of the world’s largest materials handling and telecommunications companies. The investment round follows a $4.2 million purchase order and distribution agreement in Latin America and other recent milestones including:

  • A strategic partnership for commercialization and distribution of methanol fuel cells in South Africa with HySA/Catalysis
  • A research agreement with Lawrence Berkeley National Lab to develop fuel cells for electric vehicles
  • Customer deployments with the company’s long-standing Fortune 50 customers in material handling

"Oorja is the only company in the world with a commercially successful methanol fuel cell for multiple, high-growth applications,” said Tom Goodrich, managing director of DAG Ventures. “The company is well positioned to supply these fuel cells to meet specific needs in multiple global markets including refrigeration, transport and mobile communications infrastructure.”

The new funding round will support Oorja’s continued success supplying the OorjaPac to the material handling business. It will also jumpstart Oorja’s expansion into the telecommunications industry for network towers and growth of the company’s global distribution network.

“Oorja’s Direct Methanol Fuel Cells are the most economical and have the widest variety of global applications of any methanol fuel cell technology on the market, and as costs come down, will compete in the massive global diesel generator markets,” said Mark Louie, managing director of Mingxin China Growth Management. “We are joining a set of world-class investors to back Oorja as the company is primed for rapid growth, particularly in new international markets.”

Customers in the materials handling industry use the OorjaPac as an on-board battery charger for a wide variety of Class 3 vehicles. The OorjaPac keeps the vehicle’s battery at a constant state of charge, eliminating the need for battery swapping and rapid charging. The self-contained, compact OorjaPac requires minimal retrofitting and provides an attractive payback for the Telecommunications market by ensuring uninterrupted power supply and, in some cases, replacing less efficient and high-emissions diesel generators.

About Oorja

Oorja is the world leader in liquid fuel cell technology for the material handling and telecommunication tower industries. Oorja fuel cells utilize a common, abundant and readily-available liquid fuel, methanol. The company’s patented technology provides a high-power solution for multiple applications, allowing customers to lower operating costs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The company is headquartered in Fremont, Calif. For more information, visit www.oorjafuelcells.com

1 Navigant Research, Fuel Cells Annual Report 2013

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