Axios Pro Exclusive Content

National Grid Partners puts $20M to work

headshot
Oct 20, 2022
Illustration of a knob turning towards dollar bill signs of increasing size.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

National Grid Partners, the corporate venture arm of energy company National Grid, invested $20 million across three energy software startups, the firm exclusively tells Axios.

Why it matters: Corporate venture groups with deep industry ties are increasingly making their case to startups.

Details: In its latest funding push, National Grid Partners backed underground mapping startup Exodigo, digital twin software maker Sensat and image signal processing startup Visionary.ai.

  • The corporate venture group led Sensat's $20.5 million Series B funding round, which also included existing investors.
  • Exodigo says the investment from National Grid Partners was outside a traditional funding round, but declined to disclose the amount.
  • Visionary.ai declined to disclose the details of the deal.
  • National Grid Partners president Lisa Lambert also declined to disclose the breakdown of how the $20 million in collective funding was split among the companies.

State of play: National Grid Partners manages roughly $400 million in funds directly off of National Grid's balance sheet and is not operated independently of the business.

  • The fund is expected to post returns on its investments in addition to finding strategic investments that can work with National Grid down the road.

Zoom in: The three startups tackle emerging areas within the larger energy transition.

  • Exodigo is co-located in Palo Alto, California, and Tel Aviv, Israel, and uses sensors to design and map underground piping. Lambert said National Grid's natural gas business used the startup's technology in ongoing projects.
  • Sensat is a London-based startup that makes software that automates construction planning for utility-sized infrastructure projects. National Grid's U.K. business has completed several projects using Sensat's software, Lambert says.
  • Visionairy.ai is based in Jerusalem and makes software that refines and processes images, which Lambert says will work with National Grid on its network of cameras and monitoring equipment.
Go deeper