Business Standard: VC funding in smart grid stood at Rs 616 cr in Q12014: Mercom Capital

Venture capital (VC) funding in smart grid technology companies stood at Rs 616.10 crore ($101 million) in 21 deals in first quarter of 2014. In comparison, fourth quarter of 2013 saw investments worth Rs 902.80 crore ($148 million) in 31 deals.

There were no debt or public market financing tracked in the quarter. Mercom Capital Group llc, a global consulting firm, released its report on funding and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity for the smart grid sector for the first quarter of 2014.

“Funding into smart grid companies is trending up the past couple of quarters,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO and Co-Founder of Mercom Capital Group.

The top VC funded companies in first quarter of 2014 were led by SIGFOX, a wireless connectivity solutions provider for smart metering, building intelligence and M2M using ultra narrow band technology, which raised Rs 125.66 crore ($20.6 million) from Idinvest Partners, FSN PME, Digital Ambition Fund, Elaia Partners, Intel Capital, Ixo Private Equity, and Partech Ventures. EnVerv, a provider of power line communications solutions for Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and energy management solutions, raised Rs 93.94 crore ($15.4 million) from Cassiopeia Capital Partners, Cisco, UMC Capital, Benchmark Capital, New Enterprise Associates, and Walden International. Smart Wire Grid, a provider of smart wire technology to control power flows on transmission lines, raised Rs 81.74 crore ($13.4 million) from RiverVest Venture Partners and other investors. AutoGrid, a provider of Big Data analytics, cloud computing solutions, and real-time demand response optimization and management systems for the energy industry, raised Rs 78.08 crore ($12.8 million) from E.ON, Foundation Capital and Voyager Capital. Rounding out the Top 5 was Grid20/20, a provider of integrated distribution transformer monitoring solutions, which raised Rs 49.41 crore ($8.1 million).

Twenty-eight investors participated in funding rounds in Q1 2014. Emertec Gestion was the only investor participating in more than one deal.

Smart Grid Communication technology companies received the most VC funding raising Rs 378.20 crore ($62 million) in 11 deals. Demand Response companies raised Rs 85.40 crore ($14 million) in three deals. Data Analytics companies raised Rs 79.30 crore ($13 million) in three deals. Grid Optimization companies brought in Rs 49.41 crore ($8.1 million) in one deal, and Distributed Generation & Integration companies raised Rs 24.40 crore ($4 million) in three deals Notably, AMI did not see any VC funding in Q1. There were six M&A Smart Grid transactions in the first quarter of 2014, two of which disclosed amounts totaling Rs 20,435 crore ($3.35 billion). The top disclosed transactions were the Rs 19,520 crore ($3.2 billion) acquisition of Nest Labs, a smart thermostat and home energy solution provider, by Google, followed by the Rs 915 crore ($150 million) acquisition of Aclara Technologies, a provider of advanced solutions, by Sun Capital Partners, a private equity firm from ESCO Technologies.

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