Investing in innovative energy ventures


Our Investment Strategy

Target countries

We focus our scouting efforts on EEA, North America, and Israel, though we are happy to expand our scope for the right project.

 Investment Policies

Our preferred outcome is merging an equity investment with a joint venture or sales partnership to enter the Japanese market. We do not seek to be lead-investors.

 Company Size

We look for commercialised scale-ups, ready for international expansion. Typically, annual revenue will be $1M+ and funding will have reached series B ($10M+)

 Target Deal Size

Typically between $500K-$1.5M

Our Sources

Held annually, ENECHANGE Insight Ventures (previously Japan Energy Challenge) is an opportunity for innovative companies operating in the energy sector, to meet and connect with large Japanese corporates, our subscribers. The goal is to build relationships that result in collaborations, sales, investment, and other forms of support for helping grow the invited companies in Japan.

This competition is unique in that all invited companies will have at least one sponsor interested in meeting them specifically. The EIV team works with the invited companies in the months leading up to the event to fully understand their business and products.

The event itself will represent the culmination of months of research and back and forth communication, making the actual meetings very meaningful to exploring future relationships.

Find out more about the program and how to apply to ENECHANGE Insight Ventures here.

Stage I - Scouting

By looking at current investment trends within the Global energy market we identify the most promising sectors and perform detailed research on the best companies therein.

Stage II - EIV Participation

The companies we select are carefully vetted by an experienced team of energy professionals, until a suitable list of participants to EIV is agreed upon with the program’s subscribers.

Stage III - Investment

Of these finalists, only a select few will be considered for the fund, based on product fit with the Japanese market and success of EIV participation we throw our weight in behind top-tier projects.

2020 Japan Energy Challenge Sponsors

TOKYO GAS is Japan‘s largest provider of natural gas, having more than 11 million  gas customers and 2 million electricity customers. TOKYO GAS promotes open innovation and digitalization by collaborating with startups and utilities in order to provide a wide range of service beyond gas. TOKYO GAS has announced its commitment to becoming a net-zero company by 2050 in its long-term group vision “Compass 2030” published last year.

ENECHANGE LTD. provides one of the most popular energy switching websites in Japan, with 3 million monthly unique visitors and working with over 100 energy suppliers. ENECHANGE is also recognised as one of the most innovative energy ventures in Japan, providing vertically integrated tech solutions – including data-driven CRM solutions, smart meter data management (SMAP), and AI-driven load curve simulation – for energy suppliers.

Chubu Electric Power is Japan’s third largest among the 10 regulated energy utilities for both businesses and households in the Chubu region, serving 2.3 million customers. With over 212 power stations, 33 GW of total generation capacity, 135,000 km in distribution lines and 30 USD billion revenue. In April 2020, a new business structure will be launched as the Company is split into the transmission and distribution business and the retail electricity business.
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ENEOS is the largest oil company and 3rd largest new electric power supplier in Japan. They have crude refining capacity of around 2 million barrels per day – which is comparable to BP – and a nationwide supply chain enabling stable supply of products and services associated with energy. They have also been supplying low-carbon energy, such as solar, wind, biofuel, and hydrogen.

 

Looop operates a low-voltage power retail business ‘Looop Denki’ and is among the fastest growing new entrants in the energy sector. Since starting in April 2016, the business has gained over 200,000 users by the end of December 2019. Looop is also a successful EPC/IPP provider, selling rooftop solar panels for their residential and business customers.

SHMZ

Shimizu has 66 subsidiaries that operate businesses globally, including construction business and non-construction businesses: Real Estate Development, Engineering, Life Cycle Valuation and Emerging Frontier Businesses. They have a revenue of 15.3 USD billion and over 10,000 employees in 25 countries. To meet their 10-year plan, they plan to invest 7 USD billion over the next 5 years, this includes 1.2 USD billion invested in projects related to infrastructure, renewable energy and new businesses.

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Panasonic Corporation is one of the largest electronics producers, with nearly 80 USD billion in revenue and 271,000 employees. For its 10-year vision, they plan to invest significant resources in developing Focused Technologies such as AI/IoT/Big Data, Sensing Technology, Robotics and Digitalization Network, as well as Supportive Technologies such as Key Device/Manufacturing. Energy in “Home”, “Mobility”, “Business” will also be a target.

Hokuriku Electric Power is an electricity utility that serves mainly businesses and households in the Hokuriku region, serving 2.1 million customers. Its generation mix is characterized by a higher ratio of hydroelectric power generation (hydroelectric power: 28%,thermal power: 61%, others: 11%, as of 2018). They have transformed by separating their organisation into two companies in April 2020, one generates and sells electric power, another operates TDS (transmission and distribution system).

Tohoku Electric Power is one of the 10 regulated energy utilities for both businesses and households in the Tohoku region, serving 7.6 million customers. With over 231 power stations, 16.8 GW of total generation capacity, 587,600 km in distribution lines and 20 billion revenue. They are transforming by separating their organisation into three divisions: Power Generation, TDSO and Sales.

 
MRT

MIRAIT Holdings Corporation is a telecom engineering company with 19 overseas subsidiaries and 3.5 USD billion in revenue. They own an installed generation capacity of 288 MW of renewable energy worldwide and more than 1000 EV chargers in Japan. They aim to contribute to the “smart society” through initiatives enhancing competitiveness amid the changing business environment with 5G and IoT technologies.

CHGK

Chugoku Electric Power is one of the 10 regulated energy utilities for both Businesses and Households in the Chugoku region. With over 102 power stations, 11 GW of total generation capacity and 12.8 USD billion revenue. The power transmission and distribution business has been operated by our wholly owned subsidiary since April 2020.

Toyota

Toyota Tsusho is the sole general trading company of the Toyota Group. They provide logistics, information services, financing, risk management, import/export and investments. They have 7 divisions. The Power Project SBU operates 8 GW of power plants, including more than 3 GW of renewable energy. They have established the NEXT Mobility Development Department focusing on materials replacement and recycling, next-generation vehicle services, EV components and smart factories. Their Energy Solutions Department offers integrated solutions of heat and electricity supply.

YNDN

Shikoku Electric Power Co., Inc. (”Yonden“) is one of the 10 Japanese regulated energy utilities aiming business to deliver high-quality energy services for residential, public sector and commercial & industrial (C&I) clients. Their mission is to be innovative and take advantage of new technology to deliver quality service for tomorrow. Yonden is looking for partners to work with on developing new valuable services throughout the T&D network using the latest energy IoT.

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Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, a part of the MS&AD Insurance Group, is one of the leading companies in the non-life insurance business . They have been promoting the MSIG brand worldwide operating now in 42 countries and regions. They are exercising the company‘s comprehensive capabilities to offer insurance and financial services business.

2020 Japan Energy Challenge Cohort

Ambri

Ambri is a US company developing a liquid metal battery and spin out from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) materials research. The batteries were conceived by MIT’s Professor Donald Sadoway who has taught Materials Science for over 40 years. 

Breeze_technologies

Breeze Technologies provides hyperlocal air quality and climate data through smart, affordable indoor and outdoor sensors, as well as actionable environmental intelligence for corporates and cities.

driivz

Driivz provides a smart cloud-based platform that spans EV charging operations, energy management, bespoke billing and roaming capabilities, home, public and workplace charging, and driver self- service tools.

enbala

Enbala Power Networks develops and deploys software that aggregates customer electricity demand, along with energy storage and renewable energy sources, to create a network of continuously optimized distributed energy sources.

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FreeWire Technologies provides smart battery systems for EV charging and mobile distributed power. It provides clean, quiet mobile power, and fast charging that’s available and easy to deploy.

GreenSync

GreenSync builds software that allows resources like solar, battery storage and electric vehicle chargers to help deliver ever more affordable, reliable, renewable electricity for us all.

 
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METRON is a AI company that helps industrial clients leverage untapped industrial data and connect to decentralized energy resources, thus fostering the emergence of the Internet of Energy.

 
OhmConnect

OhmConnect provides home energy management solutions via smart meter analytics and energy market integration. Their platform enables residential users to sell their energy reductions directly into energy markets via demand response.

ONO

ONO is a Berlin based e-mobility company offering a whole new light electric vehicle: The ONO Pedal Assisted Transporter.  The vehicle allows for a more efficient delivery of goods in urban environments.

Origami-Energy

Origami Energy‘s platform together real-time data from physical assets and commercial markets to unlock new value, and accelerate our transition to a cleaner, more reliable and efficient global energy system.

 

Pexapark provides software for better renewable energy sales. Their tools enable portfolio management, lower transaction costs and better risk control.

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Power to Hydrogen is commercializing an advanced reversible fuel cell technology to cost effectively and efficiently convert electricity and water into high purity hydrogen and oxygen, and when needed back to power.

reactive

Reactive Technologies is an energy tech company providing grid operators and renewable asset owners with market-leading and mission-critical technology solutions to accelerate the clean energy transition

 
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Sense is a technology company that specializes in developing and distributing tracking devices and home automation solutions for its customers.

 
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SkySpecs offers an automated drone inspection service and analytics platform that allows for repeatability, high-quality data, and safer inspections.

 
Sure-Chill

Sure Chill offers a refrigeration and energy storage technology that cools for weeks without power. By harnessing the unique properties of water, it allows continual cooling at a perfect 4ºC, anywhere in the world.

Telensa

Telensa makes wireless smart city control applications, including the world’s most widely deployed smart streetlight solution. Telensa’s solutions also provide a low-cost platform to add multiple city-wide sensor applications.

 
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TeraWatt Technology a spinoff of SF Motors Inc. (d.b.a SERES), develops ultra-high energy density next-gen lithium-ion batteries for diverse electrified applications.

 
Voltalis

Voltalis is a major provider of demand response services. The company has already rolled out and operated 1 million devices in a 100,000 homes and buildings to its demand control platform enabling energy savings.

 

2019 Japan Energy Challenge Sponsors

Tokyo Gas is Japan‘s largest provider of natural gas, serving more than 11 million customers. In FY2016, TOKYO GAS made a start by entering the electricity retail business and has since reached 1.6M customers (Nov 2018). TOKYO GAS is shifting from the in-house R&D focused on natural gas energy to an open innovation style R&D to focus on a broad range of innovative energy solutions.
ENECHANGE LTD. provides one of the most popular energy switching website in Japan, having 3 million monthly unique visitors and working with over 100 energy suppliers. ENECHANGE is also recognised as one of the most innovative energy ventures in Japan, providing vertically integrated tech solutions – such as data-driven CRM solutions, smart meter data management (SMAP), AI-driven load curve simulation etc. – for energy suppliers.
SUMMIT ENERGY is a subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation, one of the major integrated trading firms in Japan. They supply electricity to both commercial and residential customers. In 2016, they supplied 2,800GWh, making them the 6th largest retail electricity supplier in Japan. They have its own generating capacity from a variety of sources, including biomass power generation.
HOKURIKU ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY is a vertically integrated electricity supplier serving about 2.1M customers. Their generation mix is characterised by a higher ratio of hydroelectric power – which is less carbon intensive than other forms of generation – thanks to plentiful water resources in their area. Their Transmission/Distribution Division will be reformed as a separate entity in 2020 and plans to install smart meters to all household by 2024.
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IDEMITSU KOSAN is the Shell brand licensee and one of the major oil companies in Japan. They also provide energy solutions for businesses with operating power plants and deliver renewable-sourced electricity. Solar Frontier, the world’s largest CIS solar energy solution provider, is their 100% subsidiary company and operates as independent solar power producer in Japan and worldwide.

LOOOP is one of the largest renewable energy EPC/IPP companies in Japan with more than 300MW track record of developing power plants worldwide. It also offers a broad array of energy services in its retail business “Looop Denki” since 2015. It now has gained over 200,000 low-voltage plan customers as of the end of March 2020, and that makes it the largest independent new power retailer in Japan. Looop plays a pivotal role in a smart city project in cooperation with the local government in Saitama, Japan.

JXTG NIPPON OIL & ENERGY is the largest oil company and 3rd largest new electric power supplier in Japan, and is known by its brand ENEOS. They have crude refining capacity of around 2 million barrels per day – which is comparable to BP – and a nationwide supply chain enabling stable supply of products and services associated with energy. They have also been supplying low-carbon energy, such as solar, wind, biofuel, and hydrogen.
CHUBU ELECTRIC POWER is Japan‘s third largest energy utility provider. They are transforming by separating their organization into three division, Power generation, Transmission/distribution, and Sales division. Even in a rapidly changing business environment, they aim to become a corporate group with consolidated ordinary profit of 250 billion yen or more, by building a balanced business portfolio through.
TOHO GAS is the third largest city gas supplier in Japan with 2.46 million customers. They also have a growing electricity supply business, aiming to grow customer acquisition by 60% in 2018. Furthermore, Toho Gas also provide services related to connected homes, business energy support, and energy resource aggregation & balancing.

2019 Japan Energy Challenge Cohort

Connected Energy provide energy storage units comprised of second-life EV batteries for use in commercial, industrial, and utility applications.
Edge Electrons have designed a range of energy efficiency and monitoring technology solutions for grids, businesses and homes.
eMotorWerks offer a complete line of Smart electric vehicle charging stations and custom solutions and allow their customers to control their EV fleet’s charging schedules with the advanced IoT platform, JuiceNet Enterprise
Energisme allows companies and local authorities to take control of their energy expenses. It provides its customers with predictive modeling tools and an ecosystem of partners to anticipate and optimize their energy consumptions.
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Through integrations with solar panels, battery storage and smart home devices – EO wants to enable individuals to remove their dependency on the grid. They’re working to create a new energy ecosystem which gives people the power of energy autonomy.
EVbox Paint NEW
EVBOX build easy-to-use and durable charging solutions (hardware and software) for electric cars.
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Ezzing Solar have developed an “all-in-one” software solution that simplifies PV and allows companies to develop and be profitable in distributed generation.
Geo Paint NEW
geo focuses on the energy element of the smart home. Their aim is to make energy smarter and help customers save money on their energy bills.
Heliatek make Organic Solar Films, a flexible and light solar panel for the building industry that can be installed on many more surfaces than traditional PV modules.
Hubject provide a digital B2B marketplace for connecting different market players in order to create a digital and cross-border charging network for electric vehicles – the intercharge network.
The Kaluza platform provides connections to a range of IoT enabled assets from our portfolio of world-leading hardware partners. It receives telemetry from these devices, forecasts a future state of the energy system and combines that with customer information to simulate various charging paths that the assets can take. Finally the optimised control decisions are dispatched to the individual asset.
KiWi Power partners with TSOs like National Grid to provide demand response solutions in UK and other countries. Demand response is a method of reducing electricity consumption at times of peak demand on the grid, allowing System Operators such as National Grid to avoid using outdated, expensive and polluting, “peaking” power stations.
Lumenaza’s “utility-in-a-box” software connects producers and consumers of locally produced renewable power so they can “build up a regional, communal and transparent supply with green electricity.”
Next Kraftwerke’s VPP software-as-a-service solution NEMOCS is a control system software, which provides an advanced IT infrastructure for VPP operations. It allows clients to aggregate, monitor and manage thousands of decentralized energy resources in a very performant, reliable and beneficial way.
Open Energi manage distributed energy to radically reduce electricity costs and provide flexible capacity to enable a 100% renewable energy system
Power Ledger have designed a software that can be used to buy and sell electricity in real time as well as measuring, reporting and validating renewable generation certificates.
Solargis provide solar and meteorological data, energy-calculation software and consultancy for developers, investors and operators of solar power plants.
Switchd provides electricity and gas retail customers with a software service to automatically switch their provider to the best energy deal, saving them time and money.
The tiko platform brings retail electricity customers the power of a Virtual Power Plant and an award-winning Smart Home Energy Management system designed to connect Residential and SME assets
Virta provide homes and businesses with a connection to smart charging stations and charging networks for their Electric Vehicles.

First meetings at Imperial College

Kaluza's Pitch to the Sponsors

Startups mingling

EVBox's Pitch

Announcing Winners

2019 Group Photo

2018 Japan Energy Challenge Cohort

Brill Power develops intelligent battery management technology to increase the lifetime and reliability of lithium-ion battery packs for grid-scale energy storage and electric vehicles.
Ecoppia’s cloud-based robotic solar panel cleaning platform keeps panels in large-scale solar energy installations operating at peak performance year-round – optimising production, reducing operational costs, and positively impacting overall return on investment.
Howz helps utilities drive engagement with a growing segment of their customers – older people – by linking their use of energy to their daily activity and their well-being.
Limejump is a technology-driven utility, using big data and the Cloud to create a unique Virtual Power Plant (VPP) that enables generators, energy storage and businesses to access the same market opportunities as large power stations.
Meshcrafts is a tech company developing software for e-mobility and energy management with a perspective on Smart City, Smart Grid and Smart Transportation.
SolarCoin is a blockchain-based commodity like air miles for solar power generation. It is available globally to solar power producers at the rate of 1SLR per MWh of validated solar power produced.
The Piclo Platform is an online marketplace for peer-to-peer energy and flexibility trading.
Powervault develop an intelligent, affordable electricity storage system for the home, which reduces customers’ electricity bills by enabling them to store and use free solar energy or cheap, off-peak electricity.
The Pavegen technology is a multifunctional custom flooring system. As people step on the tiles, their weight causes electromagnetic induction generators to vertically displace, which results in a rotatory motion that generates off-grid electricity.
ubitricity has developed a unique and market leading approach to Electrical Vehicle charging. SimpleSockets enable charging infrastructure to be set up anywhere EVs park. The SmartCable enables the user to bring their own mobile energy tariff to the charging point.

Visiting University of Cambridge

Sponsor Delegation

Announcing Winners

Howz's Pitch

Brill Power's Pitch

2018 Group Photo

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