Summary of presentation at Cleantech Fund Manager Platform, March 2012
Dr Rob Wylie, Founding Partner of WHEB Group, presented on the WHEB Group investment philosophy which focuses on ‘industrial and resource. WHEB Group includes WHEB Infrastructure and WHEB Asset Management as well as WHEB Partners (the private equity investment arm). It has offices in London and Munich and currently has some £160m under management across the Group - this is expected to increase considerably within the next six months. WHEB Partners has £129m of assets under management across two funds. Fund 1, which was launched in 2004, is an early stage venture fund and is now closed for new investment. LPs were almost entirely family offices. Fund 1 has eight companies in its portfolio.Fund 2, launched in 2008, has £105m under management. To date it has made eight investments, focusing on late stage venture, growth stage and buy outs. Investors include blue chip institutions as well as family offices.
WHEB Group sees market opportunities for investing across multiple industry sectors, addressing the needs of increasing population demands for water, food and energy; and in industrial and resource efficiency. Sector focuses include:
- Energy generation (renewable energy generation; cleaner coal; carbon capture & storage) – portfolio companies in this space include Green Energy Group and PVXchange.
- Energy efficiency & storage (energy efficiency and storage; electric mobility; smart grids and smart meters) – portfolio companies in this space include Bowman, Passivsystems, Torqeedo and Via Optronics.
- Clean industrial processes (innovative materials; sustainable industrial efficiency; chemical-free agriculture) – portfolio companies in this space include EVAP, Exosect, Friedola Tech, Pertainer, Resysta and Steritrox.
- Waste (collection; recycling; treatment) – portfolio companies in this space include AMCS Environmental and Wilson Brown.
- Water (filtration; flow technologies; treatment; usage efficiency) – portfolio companies in this space include AquaSpy.
WHEB Partners aims to avoid “over hyped, capital intensive, subsidy dependent businesses” – and focuses on businesses “... offering short term economic returns to customers with clear market demand”.
Dr Wylie focused on three case studies: Exosect (an example of one of WHEB’s early stage investments in Fund 1) and two Fund 2 investments - Torqeedo (a late stage venture case study); and Petainer (an example of a growth deal). See links below.
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