National Grid's venture arm pours $14 million into two startups
National Grid Partners, the venture arm of the U.K.-based utility company, disclosed two new investments it made in Q1: Modern Hydrogen and EV.energy.
Why it matters: These deals — especially the backing of natural gas decarbonization company Modern Hydrogen — represent National Grid's updated focus on becoming fossil-free by 2050.
Details: NGP invested a total of $14 million across both companies, though it's not disclosing the exact breakdown.
- Its backing of Modern Hydrogen (formerly Modern Electron) is part of a $38.2 million extension of its Series B round. The Bothwell, Wash.-based startup's technology removes carbon from natural gas.
- NGP's investment into EV.energy is part of the first close of the startup's current fundraising. The U.K.-based company, whose software lets electric vehicle owners optimize the time at which they charge their cars and helps utility companies better manage that customer charging load.
Between the lines: National Grid is working with both companies, albeit at different stages, as either a customer (EV.Energy) or on setting up a pilot (Modern Hydrogen).
- That's the case for about 80% of the companies its venture arm has backed so far.
Zooming out: The areas in which National Grid Partners invests are largely dictated by its parent company's own business priorities, explains NGP president Lisa Lambert.
- The venture division spent its initial years focused on backing startups helping with modernizing and management of assets.
- Now, expect it do more deals in the clean energy and decarbonization areas.