Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Venture capitalists inject $81 million into smart grid players in second quarter: Mercom

Iain Morris
July 29, 2014
Venture capital funding for smart grid companies totaled $81 million in the second quarter of the year, according to the latest data from market-research company Mercom Capital.

The funding levels, which covered some 13 deals, represented a drop since the first quarter of the year, when venture capitalists pledged $101 million across some 21 deals.

Mercom says the top VC-funded companies in the second quarter included ChargePoint (Campbell, CA, USA), a provider of an open electric vehicle charging network that raised $22.6 million.

Sunverge Energy (Stockton, CA, USA), a developer and manufacturer of distributed energy management systems, raised $15 million, while On-Ramp Wireless (San Diego, CA, USA), which designs wireless solutions for energy automation and M2M communications, received $13.6 million.

Rounding out the top five were Gridco Systems (Woburn, MA, USA), a smart power management tech player, with $12 million, and GeoDigital International (Nepean, Canada), which raised $5.8 million and provides geospatial information solutions to electric utilities.

In terms of the technologies that garnered most VC interest, the funding recipients included two smart charging companies, two vehicle-to-grid companies and two smart grid communications players.

Mercom’s research also indicated there were a total of 16 smart grid M&A transactions in 2014 totaling $147 million.

These included the $117 million takeover of Power-One’s (San Jose, CA, USA) power solutions business by Bel Fuse (Jersey City, NJ, USA), an electronic products maker for computers, networking and telecoms, as well as the $23.5 million acquisition of Utility Partnership Limited (Cardiff, UK), which provides end-to-end utility infrastructure, smart metering and energy management services in the UK, by Smart Metering Systems (Glasgow, UK).

Mercom says it is expanding its smart grid coverage to include the battery and energy efficiency sectors, taking into account the convergence currently under way in the industry.

Companies in the battery and storage space raised $90 million in six deals in the second quarter, down from $180 million in eight deals in the first, while efficiency companies raised $113 through 16 deals, compared with $156 million in 12 deals over the January-to-March period.
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