Analysis: Recent deals in energy storage tech · Articles · Global Corporate Venturing
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16 July 2018

Analysis: Recent deals in energy storage tech

Companies developing energy storage technologies, a strategic target of oil and gas producer as well as carmakers, have been mentioned over the news in the past weeks, indicating expected growth of commitments in this space.

Author: Kaloyan Andonov, reporter, GCV Analytics

Recently we have seen electric storage and management tech companies appear on the news in venturing and acquisition deals, involving oil and gas companies. Oil and gas majors, alongside car manufacturers, tend to be major corporate backers of such technology developers, as they anticipate a transition to a low-carbon future relying on more sustainable and cleaner energy sources. In fact, as the historical bar chart by GCV Analytics here suggests, the number of corporate-backed rounds in such businesses increased throughout last year to 22 rounds with an estimated total capital of $479m. These figures are likely to increase even further by the end of this year, as during H1 of 2018, there were already 20 deals with $400m estimated capital in them.

Germany-based energy storage system developer Sonnen completed a €60m ($70m) financing round led by Shell Ventures, corporate venture capital arm of oil and gas producer Shell. The other participants in the round were not revealed. Formerly known as Sonnenbatterie, Sonnen has created a home energy storage and management system designed to work in tandem with solar panels. It also runs a community scheme where owners of its systems can share their surplus solar energy. Sonnen is pursuing a cooperation agreement with Shell’s New Energies unit that will cover integrated energy, electric vehicle charging and grid services based on Sonnen’s virtual battery technology.

Petroleum supplier BP agreed to buy Chargemaster, a UK-based operator of a network of electric vehicle (EV) charging points, for an undisclosed amount, giving an exit to automotive manufacturer BMW, which had committed capital to it in 2013 via its BMW I Ventures unit. Established in 2008, Chargemaster designs, builds and installs EV chargers, operating a network of 6,500 charging points across the UK, spanning both public and in-home systems. It receives money through a mix of subscription and pay-as-you-go fees. The company will operate as an independent subsidiary after the acquisition. It will enable BP to install charging points on its petrol stations where electric cars will be able to recharge along with conventional vehicles recharging fuel.

ChargePoint, US-based electric vehicle (EV) charging network operator, agreed to purchase US-based energy management software provider Kisensum for an undisclosed amount, adding a new service to its EV charging portfolio. The acquisition is part of an aggressive growth push, as its chief strategy officer Simon Lonsdale defined it. Founded in 2014, Kisensum develops an energy management storage platform designed for energy distribution grid. ChargePoint itself runs a network of almost 38,000 chargers working with electric cars, buses and trucks, and serves more than 7,000 corporate and public customers. Its corporate backers include carmakers Daimler and BMW, the latter of which invested in its latest $124m round raised last year.

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