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JCB heir launches £1bn hydrogen investment fund
© Ryse/Wrightbus

JCB heir launches £1bn hydrogen investment fund

JCB heir Jo Bamford has today (September 6) unveiled a new hydrogen investment fund which has set its sights on raising £1bn ($1.3bn).

Launched in collaboration with multi-family office Vedra, the fund, dubbed HyCap, will help to fast-track green hydrogen production and supply in the UK to meet the Government’s net-zero ambitions.

Already, the fund has raised more than £200m and Bamford said the team has identified more than 40 firms which will be evaluated for potential investment.

Commenting on the news, Bamford said, “With the Government’s relentless pursuit of net zero targets and the publication of the damning IPCC report, it is our belief that hydrogen holds the key to reduce emissions – and there is a growing sense of urgency to act now.

“The UK has missed the boat on batteries, a sector dominated by China and the far east, but we can be global leaders in the production and supply of hydrogen – an economy said the be worth $2.5 trillion in revenues by 2050.”

Immersed greatly in the hydrogen sector, through his role as Executive Chairman of Ryse Hydrogen and Wrightbus, Bamford believes the accelerating hydrogen economy is a result of a number of drivers such as the Hydrogen Council and the UK Government’s ambitions.

“We have also discovered that investors around the world match the ambitions of global governments in wanted green-focused funds which have a positive impact on climate change,” Bamford added.

Max Gottschalk, founder of Vedra Partners, added, “The fund will be investing across the entire value chain, focusing on production, manufacture and supply, in order to put the UK firmly on the map when it comes to hydrogen.

“By striking meaningful commercial partnerships and developing intelligent go-to-market strategies, it is clean HyCap’s maiden fund can add strategic, operational and financial value to the ecosystem while creating entrepreneurial growth businesses.”

uropean Hydrogen Week: An interview with Ryse/Wrightbus’ Jo Bamford

Prior to 2019, if you’d heard the name Jo Bamford you probably would have associated him with family-run vehicle engineering firm JCB, and as the grandson of its founder Joseph Bamford.

Bamford left the digger firm in January 2019 to set up Ryse, a UK-based hydrogen production and refuelling company aspiring to decarbonise transport by providing clean fuel for buses. Nine months later, he took over the reins at Wrightbus, and rescued the Ballymena-based bus manufacturer from administration.

But it was April 2020 that really saw him burst onto the hydrogen scene with his bold and ambitious vision to bring 3,000 hydrogen buses to the UK. And he’s never really left the hydrogen headlines since.

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