Schneider Electric sets up €500m smart power venture fund

November 21, 2018 //By Nick Flaherty
Heriberto Diarte, Schneider Electric’s Head of Open Innovation and Ventures
French power giant Schneider Electric is setting up a €500m fund to boost startups developing smart power systems through investments and an incubator that is backing startups in electric vehicles and the industrial Internet of Things (IoT).

The Schneider Electric Ventures fund has been set up to identify, nurture and support innovation in sustainable power and energy efficiency, with several major projects are underway and ready to be deployed.

There are three strands to the activity: funding, incubation and partnerships. One supported project is eIQ Mobility, a start-up and spinoff from the Schneider Electric Incubator, which enables and accelerates electric mobility at scale by providing "Electric Fleet as a Service " to large commercial fleets as well. Clipsal Solar is anothe, developing on-grid and off-grid systems for residential and commercial applications in Australia, where 1.8 million homeowners have installed solar panels to help manage energy bills.  

The fund is also working with Greentown Labs to provide entrepreneurs with grants of $25,000, mentors, team members and business and technical resources to boost their development. “The investments we’ve made and the companies we’ve incubated so far are central to Schneider Electric’s vision for the future,” said Heriberto Diarte, Schneider Electric’s Head of Open Innovation and Ventures (above). “These innovative technologies and services we are investing in will make a huge contribution to creating a world that is more connected, greener, efficient and sustainable.” The company spends €1bn a year on R&D.

Through its different investment vehicles, Schneider Electric also made equity investments in six companies:  Sense, which is developing load disaggregation technology; Element Analytics, developing industrial big data analytics; Habiteo, a 3D specialist for new residential housing; QMerit, the “Uber” for contractors; KGS, a predictive engine for just-in-time maintenance; and Claroty, developing cybersecurity technology for industrial IoT networks

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