Investing in innovative energy ventures
Our Investment Strategy
We generally focus our scouting efforts on EEA, North America, and Israel, though we are happy to expand our scope for the right project.
Our preferred outcome is merging an equity investment with a joint venture or sales partnership to facilitate entry into the Japanese market. We do not seek to be lead investors.
We look for commercialized scale-ups, ready for international expansion. Typically, annual revenue will have reached $1M+ and series B ($10M+) funding.
Target Deal Size
Typically between $1.5M-$3M
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 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.
ENECHANGE Insight Ventures 2021 Sponsors
ENECHANGE LTD. is Japan’s most popular energy switching website, 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.
ENEOS (former JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy) is the largest oil company and 4th largest new electric power supplier in Japan. They have crude refining capacity of around 1.8 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.
KDDI is a telecommunications company based in central Tokyo. Its subsidiaries include the popular telecommunications brand au. Their focus is on delivering a strong 5G network to Japan, which was rolled out in March 2020 under their au brand. Their aim for 2030 is ‘Society 5.0’, focusing on seven technology segments: network, security, IoT, platform (servers), AI, XR (AR, MR, VR), and robotics.
LOOOP operates a low-voltage power retail business, Looop Denki. Since starting in April 2016, the business has gained over 100,000 users by the end of March 2018. After reaching this critical turning point, LOOOP aims to reach 200,000 users by the end of the next fiscal year, and is opening a broad array of new services to attract smart energy consumers.
Mitaden provides electrical equipment, HVAC, water supply, drainage and sanitation equipment, solar power and wind power. Regarding solar power generation systems, the company sells and installs everything from residential to corporate mega solar systems. They also provide after-sales service for all types of equipment related to their different domestic facilities, and are considered a strongly reputable company throughout Japan.
Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance is a member company of the MS&AD Insurance Group. Responsible for non-life insurance business, which is a core business of the MS&AD Insurance Group, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance is exercising its comprehensive capabilities to offer insurance and financial services business globally.
Nihon Unisys, Ltd. provides IT solutions for their clients in sectors ranging from financial services, manufacturing and distribution to energy and government. In recent years, the Group has been working on projects that lead to innovation in the areas of environment, health and customer touch points, based on their R&D in data analytics and management, coupling real and digital worlds and AI.
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, it plans to invest significant resources in developing Focused Technologies such as AI/IoT/Big Data, Sensing Technology, Robotics, and Digitalization Network. Supportive Technologies such as Key Device/Manufacturing, and Energy in “Home”, “Mobility”, “Business” will also be a target.
Tohoku Electric Power Company provides electricity to the Aomori, Iwate, Akita, Miyagi, Yamagata, Fukushima and Niigata prefectures, manages over 587,600 km of distribution network and generates over 16.8 GW of electricity. The company is planning on significantly expanding overseas, with a clear target of doubling overseas generation capacity by 2030.
HOKURIKU ELECTRIC is a vertically integrated electricity supplier serving about 2.1 million customers. Their generation mix is characterized 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.
Osaka Gas is a utility company that primarily provides gas and electricity service to consumers and businesses in the Kansai area. The group is consolidated under the Daigas Group brand. One of their long-term focuses is stronger investment abroad by 2030, with current ownership stakes in projects including natural gas, LNG, thermal, wind, and solar across the US, Asia, Australia, and Europe.
Rakuten Energy is a subsidiary of Rakuten Mobile, Inc., and provides a low-cost, simpler energy service to households and businesses under the Rakuten Denki, Rakuten Gas, and Rakuten Denki Business brands. Another business stream is their Rakuten Energy Trading System, one of the first platforms for trading renewable energy and energy conservation using blockchain technology in Japan.
Toho Gas is the third largest city gas supplier in Japan with 2.5 million customers. They also have a growing electricity supply business with 300,000 customers in their area. Furthermore, Toho Gas provides services related to connected homes, business energy support, and energy resource aggregation & balancing. Toho Gas is also working on its 4th hydrogen station for the widespread use of fuel cell vehicles.
JGC Japan Corporation is a leading engineering company in Japan that operates in a variety of fields, including energy, chemicals, life sciences, and healthcare. They have their own fund, JGC MIRAI Innovation Fund, which has four main investment targets: realising carbon neutrality, building sustainable and resilient infrastructure, enhancing quality of life in the face of an ageing society, and making industries smart.
ENECHANGE Insight Ventures 2021 First Cohort
Akselos provides real-time predictive digital twins for large asset integrity management. Their software monitors the structural condition of critical infrastructure by combining next generation simulation software with sensors and data analytics.
Eliq is a Swedish SaaS provider of customer engagement and energy insight platform to the utility industry. Their platform combines energy data and AI to deliver descriptive, diagnostic, prescriptive and predictive analytics, which help utilities understand their customers.
Enerbrain turns wasteful buildings into smarter, healthier & more sustainable ones. Their smart retrofit system is the “Energy Brain” for non-residential buildings and uses IoT solutions and powerful algorithms in the cloud to optimise energy usage in real-time, allowing 30% operational savings.
Enevate’s proprietary battery cell technology utilises silicon-dominant anodes with a multi-layer design to provide high energy density, low-temperature operation (up to -20˚C) and charging times of 5 minutes.
eSmart Systems builds and delivers next-generation software solutions for powerline inspections, grid maintenance planning, and optimising energy flexibility. They develop AI-powered solutions to support utility companies worldwide by ensuring reduced costs and prolonged asset life.
ev.energy offers electric vehicle (EV) smart charging software services. Their platform allows for savings on the cost of EV charging, as well as automatic control and integration with charging hardware, at home and on the go.
Gecko Robotics develops and operates wall-climbing robots to automate inspections for infrastructure and industrial assets – power, oil & gas, pulp & paper. Their solutions enable clients to extend equipment life, minimise downtime, increase efficiency and safety.
Grid Beyond – GridBeyond operates in the smart grid space, offering demand side response (DSR) & energy services for Industrials & Commercial (I&C) organisations. They are a leading provider in Ireland, UK and US with more than 10 years of experience.
Leap provides a marketplace enabling cloud-connected flexible loads to participate in wholesale energy markets and earn revenue by helping to balance the grid. Leap has offices in California and the Netherlands, with growing presence in the US and Europe.
MaaS Global has developed a mobile application, Whim, to advance the concept of mobility-as-a-service and offer a true alternative to car ownership. Whim gives people the ability to access and purchase a variety of transport services through a single point of contact.
Solpod is an Australian manufacturer of solar mounting products and solutions. Their products are designed for businesses that rent buildings for a shorter time period; hence, SolPod’s products are rentable, re-deployable solar arrays that can be installed in a day.
Sympower is a demand response aggregator providing software solutions that enhance the value of energy assets by enabling them to participate in the balancing markets and generate new revenue streams.
T-RECs.ai is a Singaporean company operating an online trading platform for Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) allowing renewable energy buyers and sellers to transact locally, cross-border and globally.
TWAICE provides predictive analytics software that combines deep battery knowledge and AI to determine the condition and predict the ageing and performance of batteries, making complex battery systems more transparent, effective and reliable.
Japan Energy Challenge 2020 Cohort
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 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.
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 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‘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.
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 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
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 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.
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.