Jo Bamford’s £1bn hydrogen investment fund to target ambitious green firms

Entrepreneur Jo Bamford (pictured) has launched a hydrogen investment fund which has set its sights on raising £1bn.

Jo Bamford, grandson of JCB founder Joseph Bamford, is chair of Wright Bus and founder of Ryze Hydrogen, an Oxford-based business which specialises in hydrogen fuel for buses and other heavy transport.

His investment fund, HYCAP, is in partnership with multi-family office Vedra Partners.

The capital already stands at more than £200m after the first round of investment and will be injected largely into UK businesses.

Its focus will be on speeding-up green hydrogen production and supply, creating jobs and contributing to the Government’s Net Zero targets.

Jo 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 reducing emissions – and there is a growing sense of urgency to act now,” he explained.

“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 to be worth $2.5 trillion in revenues by 2050.”

Jo Bamford’s team had already identified more than 40 firms in the hydrogen space which will be evaluated for investment.

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

Vedra Partners’ founder Max Gottschalk, who took the Gottex managed funds from $3million of seed capital in 1999 to a $16 billion success story eight years later, said there had already been a great deal of interest.

“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,” Mr Gottschalk said.

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

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