Smart grid, battery storage companies see big jump in funding to start 2017

Mercom Capital Group, llc, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, released its report on funding and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity for the Battery Storage, Smart Grid, and Energy Efficiency sectors for the first quarter of 2017.

Smart Grid

Venture capital (VC) funding (including private equity and corporate venture capital) for Smart Grid companies increased threefold in Q1 2017 with $164 million in 14 deals compared to $46 million in six deals in Q4 2016. In a year-over-year (YoY) comparison, in Q1 2016 $110 million was raised in 14 deals.

renewable energy investment

The top VC funded Smart Grid companies included: ChargePoint, which secured $82 million from Daimler, BMW I Ventures, Linse Capital, Rho Capital Partners, and Braemar Energy Ventures; Urjanet raised $20 million from Oak HC/FT; POD Point received $11 million from Draper Esprit and Barclays Capital; Blue Pillar secured $10 million from GXP Investments, Elevate Ventures, EnerTech Capital, Allos Ventures, Arsenal Venture Partners, and Claremont Creek Ventures; and Enchanted Rock raised $10 million from Energy Impact Partners.
Forty investors participated in Smart Grid VC funding rounds this quarter with Smart Charging of PHEV and V2G companies raising the most.

There were seven Smart Grid M&A transactions in Q1 2017 compared to two transactions in both Q4 2016 and Q1 2016.

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Battery Storage

VC funding for Battery Storage companies came to $58 million in eight deals this quarter compared to $156 million in nine deals in Q4 2016. YoY funding in Q1 2016 was lower with $54 million raised in 10 deals.
The top VC funded Battery Storage companies this quarter were: Primus Power, which raised $32 million from Success Dragon, Matador Capital, Anglo American Platinum, DBL Partners, I2BF, and the Russia Kazakhstan Nanotechnology Fund; NRStor received $8.4 million in funding from Labourers’ Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada (LiUNA) and NRStor founder, Chairman, and CEO Annette Verschuren; Ioxus raised $6.5 million in funding; and Faradion raised $3.95 million in funding from Mercia Technologies, Finance Yorkshire Seedcorn Fund, and Haldor Topsoe.

Fifteen investors participated in Battery Storage funding this quarter with Flow Battery companies raising the most. There were two debt and public market financing deals in Battery Storage this quarter totaling $22 million compared to $55 million in two deals in Q4 2016. There was one Battery Storage project fund announced in Q1 2017 for $152 million.

There were two Battery Storage project funding deals in Q1 2017 that raised a combined $5 million compared to one deal that was undisclosed in Q4 2016. There were no Battery Storage project funding deals in Q1 2016.
There was one M&A transaction involving Battery Storage companies in Q1 2017. In Q4 2016, there were two M&A transactions. In a YoY comparison, in Q1 2016 there were two transactions.

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Energy Efficiency technology companies increased VC funding to $213 million in 14 deals this quarter compared to the $170 million in five deals in Q4 2016 and $211 million in 14 deals in Q1 2016.

The Top 5 Efficiency deals included: $100 million raised by View (formerly Soladigm) from TIAA Investments, an affiliate of Nuveen; the $65 million in funding raised by Kinestral Technologies; the $15 million raised by Sense from iRobot Ventures, Shell Technology Ventures, Energy Impact Partners, Capricorn Investment Group, Prelude Ventures, CRV, and hardware accelerator Bolt; and SparkFund raised $7 million from Energy Impact Partners and Vision Ridge Partners.

Twenty-two investors participated in VC funding this quarter. Within the sector, Efficient Home/Building companies brought in the most funding.

Debt and public market financing for Efficiency companies fell to $301 million in three deals this quarter compared to $928 million in five deals in Q4 2016.

There were four M&A transactions in the Efficiency sector this quarter compared to two in Q4 2016. In a YoY comparison, there were three M&A transactions in Q1 2016.

Head here for a copy of the report.

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