According to the Energy Innovation Report 2020, published by the Energy & Strategy Group of Politecnico di Milano School of Management, the Corporate Venture Capital investments made by companies operating in the energy industry exceed $ 25 billion in the period 2015-2019.
Companies considered in the analysis are: 23 utility companies, 23 companies active in the development and sale of enabling technologies for the energy sector and 15 automotive companies – all global leading industry players.
In the analysed period, the most active investors were automotive groups, both in terms of number of deals (248 deals on 189 target companies) and invested capital ($ 17.4 billion). Technology suppliers followed with 242 deals in 192 target companies and $ 6 billion invested capital. Utilities contributed with 166 deals in 148 target companies and $ 2.2 billion of invested capital.
Investments focused in particular on smart mobility and energy storage segments (107 deals, 85% of invested capital). This is mainly considered as the consequence of the increasing diffusion of new paradigms linked to e-mobility and new forms of “shared” mobility within European and global urban contexts.
Smart mobility investments were largely related to the supply of hardware and software for autonomous driving, the development of recharging infrastructures for electric vehicles and the provision of services linked to the world of car-sharing and ride-hailing.
On the other hand, energy storage investments were mostly connected to the desire of finding new hardware technologies aimed at improving the autonomy of electric vehicles and reducing the costs of battery packs – issues that are reducing the gap of this type of vehicle on the market.
The report also analysed over 700 startups in the energy industry, 137 acquired by big corporations and 600 “independent” companies.
The trend of acquisitions of energy startups is growing, particularly in the smart mobility and energy storage technology fields.
Sectors in which most of the “independent” startups identified in the report are also active.
Of the 600 “independent” energy startups surveyed in the report, only 18 are Italian (compared, for example, to 56 in Germany, 49 in the United Kingdom and 47 in France). Italian startups are smaller than their European and US peers. They struggle to grow because of difficulties in accessing the capital needed to develop and commercialise their innovations. Other relevant issues are related to finding managerial skills and complementary assets, such as structured distribution channels to launch products abroad.
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You can download the detailed public Energy Innovation Report 2020 (in Italian) at the following link: https://www.energystrategy.it/report/energy-innovation-report-2019.html