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Zanskar Announces $12M Series A Funding for Geothermal Discovery Tech
The financing was co-led by USV and Lowercarbon, with participation from new and existing investors, including Munich Re Ventures, Safar Partners, Grantham Environmental Trust, and First Star Ventures
SALT LAKE CITY, Aug 26, 2022 – Zanskar, a geothermal exploration and technology company, today announced the closing of a $12 million Series A financing. Zanskar has positioned itself as the leading AI company for geothermal discovery, using its proprietary platform to identify and de-risk new geothermal energy resources.
With the proliferation of new geothermal extraction technologies and increasing demand for 24/7 carbon-free power, the geothermal industry is at an inflection point. However, a significant bottleneck persists in locating and characterizing electric-grade resources prior to development. Zanskar’s data-driven approach has already discovered new geothermal sites that are ready for further investment and is actively driving down the soft costs of geothermal development.
“We’re grateful for the support we have and are receiving,” said Carl Hoiland, Zanskar CEO. “These new investors are mission aligned and share our capital-light vision for unlocking this untapped energy giant.”
The opportunity is massive. A zero-carbon grid in the USA will require as much as 1 TW carbon-neutral baseload power generation, almost all of which will have to come from new power developments. Geothermal has several key advantages over other alternative firm energy sources, including lower costs, no fuel or commodity exposure, and a more consistent energy-generating profile across all seasons. Thanks to advances in subsurface technology, geothermal has the potential to fill a significant portion of this urgent market need.
“A resilient energy supply requires diverse forms of generation. At Union Square Ventures we believe that geothermal is one crucial and dramatically underdeveloped resource relative to its potential,” added Albert Wenger, a partner at Union Square Ventures. “We are excited to support Zanskar in their mission to make geothermal development more scalable with predictive modeling and advanced data analytics.”
“We feel near-term urgency to expand the pipeline of geothermal resources to mitigate against grid instabilities and to accelerate the energy transition,” said board member Johanna Wolfson, a partner at Prime Impact Fund and Azolla Ventures. “The next 5-10 years are critical for unlocking a pathway towards 100% carbon-free generation, and we believe Zanskar’s discovery platform for geothermal will be key to doing so.”
Prime Impact Fund led a stealth Seed financing in April 2021, which supported the company’s growth from two to twelve full-time employees and the achievement of early technical milestones. Zanskar’s founders, Carl Hoiland and Joel Edwards, also received early support from the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy at Stanford University and fellowships sponsored by the Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office through Activate within Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Cyclotron Road Division.
“We are lucky to be following in the footsteps of prior geothermal explorers, who did so much high-risk work characterizing mostly unknown geothermal resource models”, said Joel Edwards, Zanskar CTO. “By building upon those lessons, and augmented by a convergence of technologies that have matured in the last ten years, we are discovering new resources at a scale and speed that simply wasn’t possible before.”
Zanskar will deploy the funds to advance its mission, which is to make geothermal power the cheapest form of widely-deployable, firm, carbon-free power generation on the planet, by advancing new partnerships with geothermal developers and accelerating technology development. The company is currently hiring for a number of high-impact roles. Please visit www.zanskar.com to learn more and to connect.
Zanskar is a geothermal exploration and technology company composed of a team of data scientists, geoscientists and seismologists who are building a suite of new tools to improve the geothermal discovery and development process. In our work to decarbonize electricity generation, Zanskar is generating a pipeline of new discoveries of well characterized geothermal resources, reducing developers dry-hole risks, and increasing the scalability of geothermal power generation.