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Battery storage and energy startups funding drops 18 percent in 2019 to $2.3bn

Battery storage and energy startups funding drops 18 percent in 2019 to $2.3bn

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty



Battery storage and energy startups raised $2.3bn in venture capital in 2019 according to the latest report from the Mercom Capital Group in the US. This was 18 percent lower with $2.3 billion compared to $2.8 billion raised in 2018 after a boom in the first half of the year.

Total corporate funding (including venture capital funding, public market, and debt financing) for the Battery Storage, Smart Grid, and Energy Efficiency sectors in 2019 was down by 22 percent with $3.8bn compared to $4.9bn in 2018.

In 2019, VC funding into Battery Storage companies increased by 103% to $1.7bn in 32 deals compared to $850m raised in 49 deals in 2018. This increase was primarily due to Northvolt’s $1bn deal in Q2 2019. Total corporate funding, including debt and public market financing, increased to $2.8bn in 2019 compared to $1.3bn in 2018.

Lithium-ion based battery technology companies received the most funding in 2019 with $1.4bn. Other categories that received funding included Gravity storage, Flow batteries, CAES, Energy storage downstream, Fuel cells, Liquid metal batteries, Thermal energy storage, Solid-state batteries, Sodium-based batteries, and Zinc-air batteries.

The top VC funded companies in 2019 were Northvolt with $1bn, Sila Nanotechnologies with $170m and $45 million in two separate deals, Energy Vault with $110m and Romeo Power with $89m.

Seventy-eight VC investors participated in Battery Storage deals in 2019 compared to 73 in 2018. BASF Venture Capital, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and Macquarie Capital were the top investors in 2019. Utilities and oil and gas companies were involved in seven battery storage funding deals in 2019.

In 2019, announced debt and public market financing for Battery Storage companies increased to $1.1bn in 10 deals compared to $494m in 12 deals in 2018. Northvolt’s $393m loan was the largest debt financing deal in 2019.

There were 10 M&A transactions in the Battery Storage category in 2019, of which only two disclosed transaction amounts. In 2018, there were 16 M&A transactions, three of which disclosed transaction amounts. The most prominent M&A transaction in the battery storage space was the acquisition of Sonnen by oil major, Shell, early on in the year.

Smart Grid companies raised $300m in VC funding in 38 deals in 2019, a 43 percent decrease compared to the $530m raised in 29 deals in 2018. Total corporate funding, including debt and public market financing, came to $372m in 41 deals, compared to $1.8bn in 33 deals in 2018.

The top VC funded companies in 2019 were Smart Wires, which brought in $75m, eSmart Systems, which received $34m, SmartRent, which secured $32m, CleanSpark with $20m, and Volta Charging with $20m.

Seventy-eight investors funded Smart Grid companies in 2019, compared to 69 in 2018. The top VC investor in 2019 was Shell, which was involved in four funding deals followed by Energy Impact Partners with three deals. Other prominent investors included Total and Centrica with two deals each.

Grid Optimization companies had the largest share of VC funding in 2019 with $85m in four deals, followed by Data Analytics companies with $58m in six deals and Smart Grid Communications companies with $52m in five deals. Three debt and public market financing deals totaling $72m were announced compared to $1.3bn in four deals in 2018. There were no IPOs announced for Smart Grid companies in 2019.

There were 29 M&A transactions (one disclosed) recorded in the Smart Grid sector in the year, compared to 12 undisclosed transactions in 2018.

To get a copy of the report, visit: mercomcapital.com

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