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Storage, smart grid and efficiency firms raise $1.5bn in venture capital

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Global energy storage, smart grid and energy efficiency companies collectively raised $1.5bn in venture capital (VC) funding in 2017, new analysis shows. 

The total represents an increase on the $1.3bn raised in 2016 according to consultancy Mercom Capital.

In a report released this week, the analysis firm found that, over the course of last year, global battery storage firms raised $714m, smart grid companies brought in $422m and energy efficiency firms drew $384m.

For the energy storage sector, the funding raised in 30 deals almost doubled 2016’s $365m, which was raised in 38 deals. Downstream firms received the most funding, with $68m, followed by lithium-based battery companies with $65m.

Meanwhile, 86 venture capital investors participated in battery storage deals in 2017, compared with 62 in 2016.

In the smart grid sector, funding rose to $422m in 45 deals in 2017, up from 2016’s $389m in 42 deals. The number of investors funding smart grid firms also climbed in 2017 to 88, compared to 82 in 2016.

Top investors in smart grid companies included ABB Technology Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures, Chrysalix Venture Capital, Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Energy Impact Partners, EnerTech Capital, GE Ventures, Innogy, National Grid, Obvious Ventures and Siemens.

Smart charging for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) firms won the largest share of VC funding in 2017 with $155m in ten deals, followed by demand response companies with $94m in four deals.

Unlike the other sectors, energy efficiency lost ground in 2017, with investments falling to $384m in 38 deals compared with $528m in 33 deals in 2016.

Efficient home/building companies captured the lion’s share, with $172m in five deals. A total of 51 investors participated in energy efficiency funding deals in 2017 compared to 72 investors in 2016, with Energy Impact Partners the most active investor. 

 

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