ENGIE New Ventures
ENGIE New Ventures (ENV) was founded in 2014 as the corporate venture arm of the global energy provider ENGIE. Its €165 million fund is dedicated to making minority investment in technology startups that complement existing activities and resources to spur internal innovation within ENGIE.
With offices in Paris and San Francisco, ENV’s strategic fund-to-fund portfolio is one element of ENGIE’s multi-pronged strategies to reinvision existing business models and spark new opportunities in the rapidly changing energy sector. To date, ENV has deployed €65 million of capital across 17 investments worldwide, with an emphasis on Europe, North America and Asia.
Corporate Venture Capital for innovation
ENGIE has set itself the goal of becoming a leader in energy transition, with innovation as a particular focus, especially in the generation of distributed renewable energy, energy efficiency & monitoring, and the 'smart house' in the city of tomorrow. The group has developed new tools and processes destined to make innovation a sustainable part of the group's growth, including an incubation process for employees’ projects which has created a number of new businesses. Environmental issues are of course at the heart of innovation in the energy world, and in May this year, Engie received the European Cleantech Corporation of the Year Award.
As ENGIE's corporate venture capital fund, ENGIE New Ventures seeks not simply to invest financially in startups, but to create real partnerships with a view to long-term collaboration in which the creativity and flexibility of the newcomer combine with the strength and ressources of a well-established group.
Exclusively focused on the fields of energy and energy services, ENGIE offer their new partners both breadth and depth of specialised knowledge and skills. And ENGIE's presence around the world means that startups can move towards global development backed up by ENGIE's experience.
ENGIE New Ventures is looking for startups that will help ENGIE build the energy world of the future. The innovative nature of the technology or service offer is of course a priority, but companies should already be in their development phase, actually present on the market, to allow ENGIE New Ventures to evaluate the robustness of the project, its financial performance and market position, including alignment with the Group’s strategy in the field in question. Ease of internationalisation is also taken into account, so that the possibilities of partnerships can be developed to their full potential worldwide. Human aspects are important too: in particular, a reactive management team whose mentality fits with that of ENGIE, and who have an enthusiastic belief in their potential success. Other co-investors will also be carefully considered, with a view to ensuring that objectives are compatible.
The traditional economy of scale says that bigger means more cost-efficient. But the digital revolution is bringing about rapid changes in the energy world, and this offers lots of opportunity. Startups can be perfectly competitive in their niche, and working with a large group such as ENGIE affords a wider base for stability, and wider horizons for development.