VC Funding in Smart Grid Technologies Jumped in Q1 2015
Venture Capital (VC) funding activity in the smart grid sector in 2015 quarter one more than doubled that of the last quarter of 2014 at US $185 million. Energy efficiency companies raised US $140 million and Battery/Storage raised US $69 million according to Mercom Capital Group. Smart grid merger and acquisitions came in high at US $196 million for disclosed transaction.
There 37 VC investors in smart grid with smart grid communication technology received most of the funding. The biggest deal across all categories was by SIGFOX, a wireless connectivity solutions provider for smart metering, building intelligence and M2M using ultra narrow band technology; they received VC funding totalling $115 million.
Within Merger and Acquisition (M&A) the top disclosed deal was the acquisition of Alertme, a home automation platform, energy monitoring and control and analytics provider, by British Gas for $100 million. Alertme and British Gas have been strategic partners for more than two years.
In the battery/storage category there were seven deals totalling $69 million compared to $47 million in seven deals in Q4 of 2014. The top deals within the category include $20 million raised by Boston Power, a manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and stationary energy storage. Sakti3, a developer of solid-state rechargeable lithium-ion battery technology also raised $20 million.
VC funding for the Efficiency sector come to $140 million in 15 deals, compared to $192 million in 25 deals in the previous quarter. The top VC deal was by Verne Global, a developer of energy efficient data centers, securing $98 million, followed by Terralux, a designer and manufacturer of LED lighting and building intelligence solutions, which raised $11 million.
Efficiency companies also raised $180 million in debt and public market financing in three deals in, including one IPO. With the category there were 11 M&A, of the five that were disclosed the total was $3.1 billion, with the largest being $2.8 billion, where Royal Philips LED lighting component business acquired a 80.1 stake in Lumileds.