This compares to 63 companies from North America in teh Cleantech 100 with an investment of $4.91bn, 6 from Asia Pacific and just 2 from Africa, although some of the European companies in the list such as Bboxx in the UK provide technology for areas such as Africa that have no electricity grid.
Two thirds of the $3.85 billion invested in 2019 went into the energy storage, energy efficiency and solar sub-sectors where Europe is strongest, and Europe, Israel and Central/South America were the only regions to see an increase in amounts invested in 2019.
While global deal volume dropped by 5.5%, the average deal size of late-stage rounds (series B and above) increased from $21 million to $31 million, a sign that innovators in energy are reaching large-scale commercialization and seeking deployment capital.
The leading European companies include UK smart battery maker Moixa and perovskite solar cell pioneer Oxford PV, along with Skeleton Technologies with its graphene-based supercapacitor technology.
Depsys in Switzerland is developing hardware and software for microgrids while Azuri in the UK develops pay-as-you-go solar products for off-grid households. Envelio in Germany Develops a platform for grid operators to digitize energy planning and operation processes while Metron in France develops energy management services based on AI.
Next in Germany is an operator of virtual power plants connecting decentralized renewable energy producers and large scale power consumers, and the list includes German smart thermostat developer tado with Ditch provider of smart storage and solar power solutions for remote energy access Zola Electric also in the list.
Interestingly no European companies show up in the list for materials, possibly because this is dominated by mainstream congolerates such as BASF and Wacker, but pioneers in the transport listing include electric aircraft designer Lilium and autonomous electric truck developer E/nride.
Europe is also more appealing to global investors for cleantech says the report.
“Over the past five years, we have seen investors based in Asia Pacific nearly triple their participation in European cleantech deals,” said Jules Besnainou Director of the Cleantech Group. “In 2019 they made up 8.5% of the investor base in European cleantech deals, compared with less than 3% in 2014. We have also tracked a simultaneous increase in LP [limited partnership venture capital] participation from Asian corporates into European cleantech venture funds. Conversely, Asian participation in North American cleantech venture rounds has only grown from 5% to 6.5% from 2014 to 2019, and it has sharply fallen from the 9% record of 2018. This trend and a tumbling deal count in China in 2019 signal the impact of a marked cooling in U.S.-China relations and the difficulty of doing cross-border deals,” he added.
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