Maven Capital Partners invests £2 million in Guru Systems
Maven Capital Partners has invested £2 million in London-based Guru Systems which provides B2B IoT hardware, software, and analytics solutions to energy companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
It marks Maven’s sixth VCT-funded transaction of 2021 and will support Guru’s investment in sales and marketing resource, as well as the development and roll-out of new software and hardware products for heat networks and adjacent markets.
Guru’s carbon saving monitoring technology has been developed to initially focus on heat networks where heat generation is centralised and supplied to consumers via a network of underground pipes carrying hot water.
These networks avoid the need for individual boilers or electric heaters in every building and are one of one the most cost-effective ways of reducing carbon emissions from heating. Their efficiency and carbon-saving potential is expected to increase as they cover more properties, become interconnected, and increasingly utilise large scale heat pumps as well as combined heat and power plants, and heat recovered from industry and waste.
Domestic heating alone accounts for 13% of the UK’s annual emissions footprint, which is comparable to the contribution of all petrol and diesel cars on UK roads, and low carbon heat networks are a fundamental part of the UK’s decarbonisation strategy. The Climate Change Committee expects the proportion of UK heating delivered via heat networks to rise from 2% to at least 20% by 2050.
Guru’s hardware can be fitted to new-build developments or retrofitted to capture data from existing heat networks and other onsite energy systems. Its software then uses AI-driven analytics to provide complete visibility over the system from a bird’s eye view all the way down to the performance in each individual dwelling. This helps its client’s identity performance issues, improve efficiency, and reduce carbon emissions.
David Milroy, Partner at Maven Capital Partners, said Guru represents an exciting opportunity for our VCTs to invest in a trusted supplier of carbon saving IoT technology.
"As a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, residential heating presents one of the greatest challenges in global and UK efforts to achieve net-zero emission," he said. "Heat networks have a major role to play but, like standalone domestic boilers, they can be hampered by inefficiency. This makes Guru’s sophisticated monitoring and AI-driven analytics technology very attractive to developers and operators as they strive to build efficient and cost-effective heating systems."
Casey Cole, CEO at Guru, said Maven’s investment in Guru Systems enables it to capitalise on the significant growth of low carbon heating in the UK and beyond.
"Our technology supports both the digitalisation and decarbonisation of heat, two of the biggest challenges we face in the transition to a net-zero emissions future. For our clients, the housing associations, local authorities and private developers who build and manage residential developments, our technology allows them to make their energy systems more transparent, lower cost and lower carbon."
Private equity deals rise to meet transition needs
Deals are rising in the private equity sphere as the energy sector seeks investment for sustainable and renewable solutions.
EnMass Energy, a digital procurement and operations platform targeting global waste-to-energy supply chains, recently received $2.15 million of equity investments.
EnMass caters to the entire supply chain, from supplier identification through transportation logistics and delivery audits, speeding up the process of converting usable waste products into new energy sources and saving valuable time for enterprise clients. The seed round was led by Blue Bear Capital, and also included Looking Glass Capital and Climate Cloud, along with a number of angel investors.
"EnMass is unlocking a new category of circular, regional energy economies by combining the innovative instinct of digital technology entrepreneurs with the practical experience of hands-on project developers," said Ernst Sack, Partner, Blue Bear Capital.
Ara Partners, an industrial decarbonisation-focused private equity firm, recently announced that it has acquired Anesco Holdings, the parent company of the Anesco Group. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Anesco is a UK renewable energy company that manages the development, design, construction, maintenance and market optimisation of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. It has developed more than 115 solar farms and energy storage facilities, including the UK's first solar farm free from subsidies, while its operations and maintenance service now has close to 1.2GW of renewable assets under management.
Mark Futyan, who joined Anesco as CEO in 2020, said: "This is a pivotal moment for Anesco, as we gear up to deliver the next wave of large scale, subsidy-free solar and energy storage capacity."
Last week Waterous Energy Fund announced the closing of the amalgamation of its two portfolio companies, Strathcona Resources and Osum Oil Sands Corp. In a statement, it claims the transaction creates the largest private equity-owned oil producer in North America.
Adam Waterous, CEO of WEF, said: "Over the past four and a half years we have built Strathcona by consolidating complementary businesses to create a premier energy company with strong ESG fundamentals and the ability to pay substantial dividends to shareholders. Pro forma for the Osum merger, Strathcona is a stronger business that can both defensively withstand market volatility and offensively continue its consolidation strategy."
Private equity firm Hull Street Energy has acquired 100% of the ownership interests in the Waterbury Generation facility from a subsidiary of ENGIE North America. The facility is in Waterbury, Connecticut and provides 96MW of flexible natural gas power capacity to the New England region. In May it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the management team and development pipeline of Foundation Solar Partners.
Scala Data Centers sets 2033 renewables goal
Scala Data Centers is pledging to provide its Brazil customers with 100% renewable energy by 2033.
The strategic goal follows the signing of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with ENGIE Brasil Energia, the Brazilian's largest private energy producer. The contract guarantees the supply of more than 1,600 GWh of clean energy in 12 years, a volume sufficient to supply, for one year, a city of around 700,000 people.
Scala Data Centers is a sustainable hyperscale data center platform, founded by DigitalBridge.
Marcos Peigo, co-founder and CEO of Scala, said the agreement with ENGIE reinforces the company's non-negotiable commitment to base its operational growth on fully sustainable premises. "We focus on strategic partnerships that can scale and maintain our operation with the lowest possible environmental impact, without giving up the high quality and competitiveness that are recognised differentials of our company", the executive said.
Eduardo Sattamini, CEO of ENGIE Brasil Energia, added that offering solutions to decarbonise its customers' operations is in line with ENGIE's purpose of acting to accelerate the energy transition towards a carbon neutral society. "Our partnership with Scala demonstrates the importance of sustainability as an added value for business prosperity, in harmony with the future of people and the planet" he said.
Data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) state that, in the last five years, 50% of the PPAs contracted around the world came from leading global technology companies.
Since 2007, Google has been using renewable energy and managed, 10 years later, to zero its global carbon emissions. More recently, Amazon has committed to zero carbon emissions by 2040 and to use 100% renewable energy by 2030. Oracle has expanded its commitment to sustainability, promising to leverage its global operations using 100% renewable energy until 2025.
Peigo hopes that its "leading role" can inspire other Latin American companies to follow the same path.
In regards to the UN’s 7th Sustainable Development Goal (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all), Brazil’s energy policies have been very effective in meeting world’s most urgent energy challenges, according to Climate Scorecard.
Firstly, access to electricity across the country is almost universal and the electricity sector is the largest in South America. The power sector in Brazil serves more than 50 million customers, granting 97% of the country’s households’ reliable electricity.
Renewables compose almost 45% of Brazil’s primary energy demand, making it one of the least carbon-intensive globally, and its national grid is made up of almost 80% from renewable sources. A large part of its renewable resources come from biofuels and hydro.
Atlas Renewable Energy, along with Unipar, a leader in chlorine, chlorides, and PVC in South America, recently signed a large-scale solar energy PPA in Brazil. The clean solar energy supply will be generated through Atlas Renewable Energy's Lar do Sol – Casablanca II photovoltaic plant in Pirapora, State of Minas Gerais.
"The adoption of renewables is becoming a staple of good corporate responsibility and we at Atlas offer a unique opportunity for large energy consumers to clean their energy matrix and at the same time be sponsors of the social and environmental programs we develop to uplift the communities where we operate," said Luis Pita, General Manager of Atlas Renewable Energy for Brazil.
Mauricio Russomanno, CEO at Unipar, added that the total amount of generated energy destined to Unipar will be enough to produce chlorine for water treatment to over 60 million people.