Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2012 (Revised December 2013)

TerraPower

by William A. Sahlman, Ramana Nanda, Joseph B. Lassiter III and James McQuade

Abstract

John Gilleland, CEO of TerraPower, returned to his office after a lengthy meeting with potential investors. It was October 2012, and TerraPower was in the process of raising a $200M Series C round to finance the ongoing development of its next-generation nuclear reactor. Though early in the fundraising process, Gilleland noted that this most recent conversation was similar to conversations with other interested cleantech growth equity investors. The conversations circled around a common theme: "This is the biggest idea that's ever been presented at our partners' meeting. We love what you're doing, but it's not right for us as an investment." Outside of raising money from typical growth equity and infrastructure funds, Gilleland could partner with a government and/or form a joint venture with an existing nuclear power player. Reliance Industries as an investor in TerraPower could provide an entry point into the fast growing Indian market. At the same time, Gilleland and Gates had talked with China National Nuclear Corp. about a possible cooperation with TerraPower. Whom should Gilleland call next?

Keywords: nuclear power; entrepreneurial finance; venture capital; Financing and Loans; Energy Industry; United States; China; India;

Citation:

Sahlman, William A., Ramana Nanda, Joseph B. Lassiter III, and James McQuade. "TerraPower." Harvard Business School Case 813-108, November 2012. (Revised December 2013.)