Smart Grid, Storage, & Efficiency Companies Raise $375 Million In Venture Capital
April figures from Mercom Capital show that, together, smart grid, battery storage, and efficiency companies raised $375 million in venture capital in the first quarter of 2016.
Mercom Capital Group, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, published its first quarter funding and Merger & Acquisition (M&A) numbers for the smart grid, energy storage, and efficiency companies last month, with the three sectors globally raising $375 million. Specifically, smart grid companies raised $110 million; battery storage companies raised $54 million; and efficiency companies raised $211 million.
Venture Capital (VC) funding for smart grid companies — including private equity and corporate venture capital — increased twofold for the first quarter, with $110 million raised over 14 deals. This compares favorably with the fourth quarter of 2015, which saw $56 million raised over 12 deals, but drops slightly on a year earlier, which saw $185 million raised over 15 deals. For 2015, the smart grid industry attracted a cumulative $425 million in funding over 57 deals — putting 2016 already a quarter of the way to matching that figure.
The top VC-funded smart grid company was mPrest, which raised $20 million in VC funding from GE Ventures and OurCrowd.
In additional transactions throughout the quarter, the smart grid sector saw two debt and public marketing financing deals, totaling $214 million, compared to $3.5 million in one deal in Q4’15. There were also two smart grid M&A transactions in the quarter, compared to nine in the previous quarter.
VC funding for the battery/storage market in the first quarter was down on all previous quarters, raising only $54 million in 10 deals. That compares with $69 million over 7 deals in Q1’15, and $108 million over 8 deals in Q4’15. The top VC-funded battery/storage company was Sunverge Energy, which raised 67% of the total global quarterly funding in one transaction, raising $36.5 million from a consortium of Australian-based and -linked investors.
The battery/storage market saw two debt and public market financing deals, totaling $29 million compared to $32 million over three deals in the previous quarter. Green Charge Networks raised $20 million for a non-recourse project financing for energy storage systems. There were also two M&A transactions.
Venture capital funding for the global efficiency sector reached a steady $211 million in 14 deals in the first quarter, staying steady with recent trends over the previous four quarters. The top efficiency transaction was a $70 million deal raised by Renew Financial from a group of six investors.