Cleantech and Energy Transition Sector Venture Capital Investor Market Update – Cleantech


It’s been a big week for announcements, investing into drones with Euclidean Capital and leading a seed round into a hot EV fast charging startup with Amazon

Yesterday our 1st Energy Transition Ventures portfolio company DroneBase announced a $20 mm growth round led by a new investor for DroneBase, Euclidean Capital.  Coming 5 months after the close of the Series C, we again joined and some of the smartest investors in the venture business:  Union Square Ventures, Upfront Ventures, Hearst Ventures, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, and Valor Equity Partners in this round.  We are really excited to watch how much DroneBase has grown, and support a technology startup with huge impact and upside.  Euclidean is a large and well known name in family office investment circles, and we are very pleased to be again following smart money into DroneBase.

It’s a wonderful energy tech story, after launching around an “airbnb” style drone network in the hot drone era, the founder and investors led by USV moved the company two years ago into using that network to build a software enabled inspection services business and started taking market share quickly.  They picked the 3 markets that matter the most in the energy transition – construction/real estate, solar, and wind, and are the only company able to serve wind and solar globally, off the largest drone pilot network on the planet.  We see DroneBase as the kind of company that becomes the high margin, growing, consistent, “energy service company” of the energy future, in a cleantech and climate venture sector that is awash in capital and very short of high quality growth stage companies, serving some of the most rapidly growing markets in the energy transition.

While primarily early stage, 20% of our fund is focused on selected late stage opportunities like this one. Our ETV role here is simple, bring our energy expertise to bear alongside very smart venture investors.  More on that original investment here – My Granddad Flew the First Real Live Not a Test Drone Flight in 1944, in 2021 We Invested in DroneBase as our first Energy Transition Ventures Deal

That was yesterday.  This morning we announced with Amazon that we led the seed round into Resilient Power, joined by Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund and GS Futures, the corporate venture capital arm of GS Group, one of our anchor ETV investors.  Amazon Climate Pledge Fund is both the largest venture fund in our sector, and no stranger to EVs, as a major investor in Rivian.  They’ve announced an order for 100,000 Rivian electric delivery vans.  Our partner GS is one of the largest energy conglomerates in the world, owns the largest refinery in Korea in a JV with Chevron, the largest independent power producer in Korea, and one of the the largest power & industrial construction companies in the world, and recently announced the purchase of an 8,000 charger EV charging network in Seoul to launch their EV business.  GS launched its new CVC in San Mateo in 2020, alongside anchoring our ETV fund.

TechCrunch – Amazon taps $2B climate fund to invest in 3 more startups

Amazon – The Climate Pledge Fund, a $2 billion investment program, announces new investments in Resilient Power, CMC Machinery, and Infinium

Forbes – Can Amazon Finance Its Way to Net Zero? 

MSN – Amazon’s latest ‘green’ investments include EV charging and alternative fuel companies

Fast Company – Custom boxes and fast charging: The next companies funded by Amazon’s $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund

GeekWire – Here are the latest recipients of Amazon’s $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund

CNBC – Amazon invests in EV charging start up and other climate technologies

FreightWaves – Resilient Power wants to revolutionize EV charging

Engadget – Amazon’s latest ‘green’ investments include EV charging and alternative fuel companies 

Texas News Today – Amazon is investing in EV charging startups and other climate technologies 

Fortune – Term Sheet

Resilient Power has been a stealth startup quietly funded largely through DOE and National Lab contracts to develop a multi-megawatt medium voltage solid state transformer to deliver a ultra high efficiency, low cost, 10x smaller multi-port EV fast charger, that can also serve as a microgrid in a box, V2G ready power router with the potential to rewrite the distribution grid.  SST technology, for which the Resilient team co-authored the DOE roadmap, has massive untapped low cost potential to change the way our grid operates, and solve the glaring cost and infrastructure issues of EVs and distributed renewables on the grid.

Power electronics and grid technology are areas we are intimately familiar with, as my partner spent years in solar and solar inverters, and I’ve founded, launched, and seen exit multiple electrical technology startups, including power flow control company Smart Wires, one of the first companies to put solid state technology on the grid, and which has delivered gigawatts of new transmission capacity in a dozens of grids globally to support renewables.

We are excited to have some of the smartest players in the business in Amazon and GS join us to back our latest team, and help build Resilient Power into the 6th grid technology and power electronics company we’ve personally guided – scaling EV infrastructure and rewriting the distribution grid to change the world as we go. 

About Energy Transition Ventures

Energy Transition Ventures is an early stage venture capital fund in Texas and Silicon Valley founded by two experienced cleantech investors from Jane Capital and Shell, and Accel Partners, with significant startup executive experience.

 

Overall we are excited about the climate and cleantech sector again, particularly in early stage.  We are investing across electrification, distributed energy, mobility, and resource efficiency, with a North American geographical focus.

Simple thesis for early stage: the economics have finally fundamentally flipped in favor of energy transition technologies, power prices are likely to be cheap, and we are at the beginning of a huge sea change in new business and business transformations in cleantech and the energy transition as a result. 

Visit EnergyTransitionVentures.com for more information about Energy Transition Ventures.  





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