September 28 (Renewables Now) - Energize Ventures LLC, a Chicago-based venture capital fund linked to clean energy developer Invenergy LLC, has reached a final close of USD 150 million (EUR 129m).
The fund targets opportunities in the fields of advanced energy storage and distributed energy resources in addition to data analytics, mobility, operational efficiency and cyber security. It has so far invested in five startups, one of which is Aquilon Energy Services Inc. The software firm has developed and operates a cloud-based energy trade settlement platform for wholesale energy participants of all sizes, with separate options for power, natural gas and crude oil. This company announced in February 2017 that it had raised USD 19 million during a Series B financing round, with a participation from Invenergy.
Another beneficiary of Energize’s pre-growth stage investments is Volta Charging, which operates what it says is the largest free electric vehicle (EV) charging network in the US. The firm advertises its business as “the only media platform that powers electric vehicles for free”. This is the result of Volta Charging’s strategy to install EV chargers in high-traffic locations in top media markets, where advertisers sponsor the service and allow both drivers and real estate hosts to use it at no cost.
A few months back, Volta Charging said it had closed a USD-35-million Series C funding round led by the Invenergy Future Fund, which is the former name of Energize Ventures, and Activate Capital.
Artificial intelligence (AI) company SparkCognition, on the other hand, officially closed a USD-56.5-million Series B Funding round in 2017, with a contribution from Invenergy. The firm offers software solutions that allow customers to analyse complex data stores. Invenergy is currently using SparkCognition’s technology on its fleet of wind turbines to predict asset failures.
The other startups that got financial support from the fund are DroneDeploy and Nozomi Networks.
Energize Ventures counts Invenergy as an anchor partner, while its diverse group of limited partners also includes General Electric Renewable Energy, General Electric Power, Schneider Electric and WEC Energy Group, as well as institutional investors, individuals and family offices. Invenergy’s founder and CEO Michael Polsky and the company’s president and COO Jim Murphy are members of the fund’s investment committee.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.861)