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Clean Energy Startup Raises $246 million, Opens Lab in Columbus, Ohio

Clean Energy Startup Raises $246 million, Opens Lab in Columbus, Ohio

Koloma, a geologic hydrogen startup, has closed a Series B funding round of $245.7 million, according to a recent SEC filing. The round was led by Khosla Ventures and included Amazon's climate fund and United's VC arm. They join previous backers including Bill Gates' Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Energy Impact Partners.

Headquartered in Denver, Koloma is founded by Pete Johnson (CEO), Paul Harraka (CBO), and Tom Darrah (CTO), a professor at Ohio State University. He has over 20 years of experience in researching gas geochemistry and subsurface geoscience, studying where hydrogen pockets are found and leveraging techniques developed by the oil and gas industry to get to the resource.

Koloma, which only emerged from stealth mode last July, is leading the way in a new industry that's based on extracting carbon-free hydrogen from natural underground deposits.

Hydrogen is naturally generated in underground pockets around the world. It's a flexible energy source, able to cut carbon emissions, power vehicles, and store or make electricity. Unlike the traditional method of making industrial hydrogen, which emits carbon dioxide, Koloma is leading the way with a new, carbon-free techniques that applies energy-drilling techniques to extract hydrogen from rocks.

Koloma's research lab, led by Darrah, recently moved to OSU's new Energy Advancement and Innovation Center in Columbus, which opened in December 2023.

Koloma OSU Center for InnovationTom Darrah at OSU's Energy Advancement and Innovation Center. Image source: Ohio State University

“There’s a lot more awareness that this opportunity exists out in the world and we’re seeing more groups following in (Koloma’s) footsteps,” Andy Lubershane, head of research for Energy Impact Partners, a top investor in Koloma, told Forbes. “We think they're out front and have some unique advantages.”

Green hydrogen has been gaining traction recently, and new incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act have helped support it. The Department of Energy recently announced $20 million in support for geologic hydrogen exploration. Technology like Koloma's could help make underground hydrogen a new source of clean power.

Koloma will use the new funding to develop technologies like analytics, AI and sensors, and deploy the technologies to explore for hydrogen deposits in the U.S. The company is also growing its lab at OSU's Energy Advancement and Innovation Center. 

To learn more Koloma and explore their open jobs in Columbus, OH and Denver, visit: 


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