By Antoine Pradayrol
Over the past two years, Green Angel Syndicate members have invested in 17 young and ambitious companies developing ground-breaking solutions to tackle global warming.
Of those investments, a third were completed less than a year ago, and 11 were completed during 2018, so none of them is more than two years old – and it is still too early to know how successful these endeavours will ultimately be.
Indeed, as angel investments, their success will be measured by the return for investors upon exits, which are unlikely to happen for a number of years; and as companies contributing to mitigating global warming, their success will be judged by the scale of their impact, in particular how much they will help cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Still, in each company’s journey, an essential and visible step on the way to success is to raise further funds from investors – existing ones, showing their continued support; and new ones, bringing more money to accelerate growth, as well as complementary skills to help through a new chapter.
On this front, there is good news to report from Green Angel Syndicate’s investments.
Indeed, in the past few months, two of our portfolio companies have completed hugely significant follow-on investments at well-deserved uplifts to their valuations compared to the previous rounds, and two more are in the process of raising further rounds:
As active investors, Green Angel Syndicate members are continuously supporting portfolio companies in their journeys – by involving themselves in many different ways, from a Non-Executive Director position, to providing strategic advice and contacts; and also by keeping investment power dry for further investment rounds. It is therefore extremely positive to see these four successful businesses moving ahead with their new investment rounds.
Rovco – £5m Series A investment for revolutionary subsea survey specialist
Rovco is an innovative company revolutionising subsea surveying with cutting-edge, live 3D underwater inspection solutions, powered by autonomous ROVs and artificial intelligence.
Rovco’s technology reduces the time taken to complete subsea surveys, and cuts inspection costs, therefore helping to accelerate the rollout of offshore wind farms, but also contributing to the decommissioning of offshore oil rigs.
On 13 January, Rovco announced a £3.9m Series A investment from Foresight group, via the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund and Foresight VCTs. The investment was part of a larger round totalling £5 million which included funds from existing shareholders including Green Angel Syndicate.
The funds will be used to support the company’s international expansion and the continued development of its state-of-the-art 3D Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence subsea technology.
This is Rovco’s third round: the company’s seed round, in which Green Angel Syndicate took part, was completed in April 2018; and a year ago, the company concluded a strategic investment round, as part of its partnership agreement with Global Marine Group, a market leader in offshore engineering.
Rovco has grown extremely rapidly. In August 2019, it announced that it had generated more than £10m of sales and awards, through technology provision, research grants, data collection, and surveying projects over the previous 12 months. In 2019, the company invested heavily into research and development to create a world-first in subsea 3D Live-Streaming to propel the business forward – and Rovco is now setting sights on a new major base in Scotland along with new offices for the USA and Asia markets.
Naked Energy – solar PV and thermal innovator has closed £5.25m growth funding round
Naked Energy is a uniquely innovative company developing and selling a range of hybrid solar collectors combining heat and power. The firm’s Virtu tube-shaped collectors are targeted at flat roofs such as commercial centres and hotels, and they provide the highest energy efficiency per square foot of any solar collectors – thereby unlocking the global potential for renewable tri-generation of heating, cooling and power.
Source: Naked Energy
On 24 November 2019, the company announced that it successfully completed a growth funding round for a total of £5.25m. This round was led by institutional investors Earthworm Group and included a £500k advance subscription agreement which was subscribed by Green Angel Syndicate members, including both existing and new shareholders.
This large new investment will enable Naked Energy to complete the certification process of its Virtu tubes and to roll out its commercial strategy globally.
Green Angel Syndicate’s initial investment into Naked Energy took place in July 2018, as part of a £1.1m seed round.
Piclo – A pivotal play in electricity network flexibility
Piclo -(formerly known as Open Utility) - is a ground-breaking software company with the UK’s only independent energy flexibility marketplace.
The marketplace, called Piclo Flex, enables electricity networks to buy and trade ‘spare energy’ – a pivotal service making it easier for network operators to integrate growing demand for intermittent renewable energy sources and electric vehicle charging onto the grid, and providing new revenue streams for energy storage and demand side response providers.
Piclo has signed four commercial contracts with UK regional network companies and has 5.5 GW of flexibility registered on the platform.
Piclo has recently launched a new multimillion-pound investment round aimed at institutional investors. As part of this round, the company has already secured an Advance Subscription Agreement of c.£400k, the majority of which came from Green Angel Syndicate members.
This new investment round will be used to build momentum in the UK market with new and existing clients, to replicate Piclo’s UK success in other countries, and to expand its flexibility trading platform beyond just regional electricity networks.
Zeigo – Facilitating the commercial uptake of renewable energy
Zeigo has developed a commercial platform connecting corporate energy buyers and renewable energy project developers, with the aim to accelerate the uptake of clean energy globally – by helping corporate buyers find renewable energy projects around the world, and helping project developers find potential clients and investors.
Following a £160k round in early 2019, Zeigo is now seeking a £600k investment to grow the team, technology and exposure, to establish itself firmly in Europe and start the expansion process. About £400k in investment has already been committed.
Since its last round supported by Green Angel Syndicate members, Zeigo has achieved key strategic milestones, most notably: building out a fully functional AI-enabled platform; creating partnerships with consultancies and legal firms to make it easier than ever for corporate buyers to close renewable energy contracts; and securing five large commercial energy user clients, with more in the pipeline.