Published in: 2011 - A Review of Cleantech Equity Deals, January 2012
This section comprises companies which are involved in smart grid applications and the related area of grid monitoring technology. It includes companies with applications for both domestic and commercial buildings as well as those which focus at the utility level.
Amongst VC investors there was significant interest in the sector, at least in terms of the number of deals. However, a rush of merger and acquisition activity in the space might indicate that VCs are struggling to continue to fund some of the larger players in the sector in the absence of exits via the IPO route.
In terms of M&A activity, this sector was extremely busy. The $2.3 billion acquisition of Landis+Gyr by Toshiba Corp was a key deal in the smart meter industry.
Other significant M&A deals in energy management included the purchase of Powercorp by ABB, Siemens’ acquisition of eMeter, the US$3.2 billion purchase of Converteam by GE, Schneider Electric’s acquisition of Telvent for US$2 billion and the purchase of Agilewaves by Serious Energy.
The investments by GE and its venture capital partners, Emerald Technology Ventures, Foundation Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Rockport Capital, as part of the second round of funding for the GE ecomagination Challenge, accounted for a significant number of deals in the space.
Energy management firms which secured ecomagination funds (not featured in the following list) included Ember (low-power chips), GMZ Energy (waste heat to electricity), Hara (resource management), On-Ramp Wireless (low power wireless communications), Project Frog (sustainable buildings technology), Viridity Energy (power management software), VPhase (voltage optimisation technology), WiTricity (wireless battery charging) and Nuventix (which is featured in the lighting section).