Since 2012, EDF, through its venture capital fund, Electranova Capital, has been financing startups specialising in clean_technology and more precisely in eco-technologies in the energy sector. The latest addition to their portfolio is FirstFuel, a software platform that helps improve energy efficiency by analysing buildings’ consumption data.
FINDING THE NEXT TESLA
EDF created Electranova Capital in 2012, managed by Idinvest Partners. To set up this structure which specialises in small investments (between €1 and 10 million) in startups in the energyinnovation sector, the group joined forces with Allianz and Bpifrance. The firm has €90 million, a third of which was provided by EDF as part of its overall R&D and open innovation policy. The assistance they offer startups includes consulting EDF’s R&D experts and business decision-makers and setting up business partnerships.
Since its inception, Electranova has made eight investments in startups specialising in solutions that address key energy transition issues. They range from Seatower’s innovative gravity-based foundations for deep water offshore wind projects to Enlighted’s advanced lighting control systems for industrial, commercial and office buildings and Techniwood, which produces advanced lighting control systems for industrial, commercial and office buildings.
big data TO optimise ENERGY EFFICIENCY
The FirstFuel platform analyses electrical consumption by combining the large data volume processing capabilities with artificial intelligence. Launched on the market in 2012, the solution is used by a number of energy providers and government agencies in its native North America and Europe.
Says CEO Swapnil Shah:
“The energy world is changing radically due to advances in technology, the penetration of distributed energies, the changing regulatory landscape and increasing competition. One of the key success factors for historic energy providers will lie in their ability to help their clients understand and address their energy needs.”
EDF’s support will help FirstFuel to break into the European energy efficiency market, a booming sector where smart grids have been deployed in a number of smart cities such as Lyon and Issy les Moulineaux.
Photo credit: epSos .de – Beautiful Wind Turbine for Renewable Electricity Generator // Flickr.com // Licence CC BY 2.0