A leading group of experienced energy transition investors has today launched the ENION Fund to provide growth capital to Spanish sustainable energy technology start-ups.
Against the backdrop of the European Green Deal’s ambitious goal to be a climate-neutral continent by 2050, the inception of the ENION Fund was sponsored by EIT InnoEnergy, the world’s largest sustainable energy engine, to provide new mechanisms to support early-stage start-ups developing sustainable energy propositions.
The ENION Fund has already 17M€ investment commitments including pledges from FOND-ICO Global, the ‘fund of funds’ managed by Axis (the venture capital arm of ICO, the public bank related to the Ministry of Economy in Spain), from ICF, Catalonia’s public financial institution and from Power Electronics, a leading supplier of energy technology to strategic sectors involved in the economic and industrial development of more than a hundred countries.
The Fund’s investment focus will be tech-based start-ups with solutions for renewable energy and distributed generation, energy storage including green hydrogen, electric mobility, digital grid and flexibility, peer-to-peer energy trading and energy for circular economy. This Fund will invest in both market deals and EIT InnoEnergy portfolio companies coming from its acceleration programme.
Josep-Miquel Torregrosa, EIT InnoEnergy Iberia Business Creation Director said: “Over the coming years, Spain could benefit from dozens of new start-ups dedicated to creating a sustainable economy. However, a gap exists in the available funding for commercialising sustainable energy technologies. Many start-ups find it difficult to secure investment without a commercial track record. By bringing investors together to create a fund that specialises in the energy transition, we are creating a much greater financing capability which will help to close this gap.”
It is thought that the ENION Fund will also help to amplify Iberian’s venture capital activity with the potential to match its European peers to bring a new industrial and technological edge for the energy transition in Europe.
Guillermo Jiménez, AXIS Participaciones Empresariales CEO, said: “We recognised that EIT InnoEnergy and its management team has an exceptional track record in commercialising startups having already supported 380+ businesses across Europe. It also has an extensive network of partnerships with key players in the field of the energy transition. This successful track record endorses the new project of setting up its new fund for the incubation of Spanish companies committed to sustainable energy transition, which has enabled it to be selected by FondICO Global after a highly competitive and demanding process. In this way, FondICO Global supports, in public-private collaboration with other benchmark investors in the fund, entrepreneurship and innovation in one of the key sectors for the recovery and transformation of the Spanish economy”.
Joan Carles Rovira, General Manager of Venture Capital and Capital Markets at ICF, explains: “One of ICF’s strategic objectives is to promote projects that develop innovative technologies in the field of energy, thus contributing to the sustainable development of the economy. For this reason, when we learned about the project of a specialized management company such as ENION, we decided to support the initiative”.
Likewise, David Salvo, CEO of Power Electronics said, “For us it is a pleasure to support and invest in projects of these characteristics, as they are not only in line with our policy of innovation and energy transformation, which we have been pursuing for more than 30 years, but they also manage to develop the Spanish industrial and technological sectors”.
The Fund will be managed by ENION Venture Partners, the ManCo just got the authorisation from the Spanish authority (CNMV) and also plansto invest €500k as a sign of the managers’ commitment to the fund. ENION will be led by Josep-Miquel Torregrosa and will incorporate to the management team Xavier Sánchez, co-founder of ESADE Business Angels Network with over 10 years of experience in the energy industry.
Once minimum investment commitments of €20 million have been secured, up to 25 of Iberian’s most promising start-ups dedicated to accelerating the energy transition will be selected for investment. The Fund has a target of €25 million but the managers are planning a 20 million first closing during quarter two of 2021. ENION Venture Partners are planning to start open fundraising in the coming weeks.