Taking an innovative approach to raising fresh capital, Enapter, an electrolyzer manufacturer based in Pisa, Italy, has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign. In late March, it began offering shares for only a few hundred euros, promising investors dividend payments over a period of five years. Germany’s financial services regulator BaFin greenlighted the investment strategy in spring, the company said.
Enapter, which also has an office in Germany’s capital Berlin, said it required additional funds to augment its patented electrolyzer. The device includes an anion exchange membrane and “merges the benefits of competing technologies.” The company added that a small-size version of its system has already entered the market. But a cash infusion would give Enapter the chance to expand to mass production of its product to generate “hydrogen at a price everyone can afford.” The company’s chief executive, Sebastian-Justus Schmidt, explained that “equity crowdfunding will allow us to create a mass market for our electrolyzer.” Enapter has yet to reveal the location of its new research technology center.
By the end of May, the crowdfunding effort had raised a bit over EUR 80,000. Responsible for this comparatively lukewarm response were both investors’ financial restraints due to the global Covid-19 pandemic and Enapter’s own minimum of promotional activities. In late May, Schmidt told H2-international that Enapter “does not intend to pour more resources into advancing the crowdfunding campaign, at least not at this time.” Instead, he said he will focus on raising cash through a series B funding round.