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Mercom: battery storage, smart grid, and efficiency companies raise $210M in VC funding in Q1 2019, down 55.5% YoY

A combined $210 million was raised by battery storage, smart grid, and energy efficiency companies in Q1 2019—a 55.5% decrease from the $472 million raised in Q1 2018, according to a new report from Mercom Capital Group, llc, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm.

Total corporate funding (including VC, debt, and public market financing) in battery storage came to $130 million in nine deals compared to $110 million in 14 deals in Q4 2018. In a year-over-year (YoY) comparison, $299 million was raised in 12 deals in Q1 2018.

Venture capital (VC) funding (including private equity and corporate venture capital) raised by battery storage companies in Q1 2019 came to $78 million in seven deals—down significantly compared to $299 million raised in 12 deals in Q1 2018 but up quarter-over-quarter compared to $67 million in 11 deals in Q4 2018.

The top VC funded battery storage companies this quarter were: Zenobe, which raised $32 million from Jera and Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco); Sunfire secured $29 million from Paul Wurth, Inven Capital, Idinvest Partners, Total Energy Ventures, and Sunfire Entrepreneurs Club; and $17 million was raised by Ambri.

Utility and oil and gas funds were active investors in battery storage and smart grid companies in Q1 2019, including Tokyo Electric Power, Total Energy Ventures, Chevron Technology Ventures, Centrica, and Shell Ventures.

Thirteen investors participated in battery storage funding this quarter with energy storage downstream companies raising the most.

In Q1 2019, announced debt and public market financing for battery storage technologies increased to $52 million in two deals, compared to $44 million in three deals in Q4 2018, an 18% increase. There were no debt and public market financing deals announced in Q1 2018.

There were four M&A transactions involving Battery Storage companies in Q1 2019, of which only one disclosed its transaction amount. There were four undisclosed M&A transactions in Q1 2018.

There was one undisclosed project M&A transaction in the battery storage category in Q1 2019. In Q4 2018, there were two project M&A transactions, of which only one disclosed the transaction amount. There were no battery storage project M&A transactions in Q1 2018.

Smart Grid. Total corporate funding in Smart Grid came to $32 million in 16 deals compared to $272 million in 10 deals in Q4 2018. In a YoY comparison, $1.3 billion was raised in nine deals in Q1 2018.

VC funding for Smart Grid companies decreased in Q1 2019 with $32 million in 15 deals compared to $266 million in nine deals in Q4 2018. In Q1 2018, $75 million was raised in seven deals. The decrease in funding was largely due to ChargePoint’s $240 million deal in the fourth quarter.

The top 5 VC funded Smart Grid companies included: Driivz, which secured $12 million from Inven Capital, CEZ’s Group’s Investment Fund, Centrica, and Ombu Group; $6 million was raised by EverCharge; Catalyze raised $5 million from Innosphere Fund, and Prisma Energy; $4 million was raised by Logical Buildings; and SensorFlow secured $3 million from Pierre Lorinet, Playfair Capital, Cocoon Capital, Entrepreneur First, 2be.lu Investments, Aurum Land, and Insitu Asia Holdings.

Thirty-two investors participated in Smart Grid VC funding rounds this quarter with Smart Charging companies raising the most.

One million dollars was raised in one debt financing deal in Q1 2019, compared to $6 million raised in one deal in Q4 2018. In a YoY comparison, $1.25 billion was raised in two debt financing deals in Q1 2018.

Nine M&A transactions were announced in Q1 2019, of which one disclosed the transaction amount, compared to three undisclosed transactions in Q4 2018. In a YoY comparison, there was one undisclosed M&A transaction in Q1 2018.

Efficiency. Total corporate funding in Energy Efficiency came to $155 million in two deals compared to $1.3 billion in eight deals in Q4 2018. In a YoY comparison, $104 million was raised in five deals in Q1 2018.

VC funding raised by Energy Efficiency companies in Q1 2019 was $100 million in one deal compared to $1.2 billion in seven deals in Q4 2018. The prior quarter total was skewed due to View’s $1.1 billion deal. In a YoY comparison, $98 million was raised in four deals in Q1 2018.

Five investors participated in VC funding this quarter.

Debt and public market financing for Efficiency companies fell to $55 million in one deal this quarter compared to $65 million in one deal in Q4 2018. In Q1 2018, there was also one deal for $6 million.

In Q1 2019, there was one M&A transaction (disclosed) while in Q4 2018, there were four M&A transactions (one disclosed). In Q1 2018, there was one undisclosed M&A transaction in the Energy Efficiency sector.

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