Statoil has launched a new venture capital fund to invest up to $200 million in growth companies in renewable energy.
Potential investment themes include offshore and onshore wind, solar energy, energy storage, transportation, energy efficiency and smart grids.
The new fund, Statoil Energy Ventures, will invest the money over a period of four to seven years and is said by Statoil to be one of the world’s largest corporate venture funds dedicated to renewables.
“The transition to a low carbon society creates business opportunities, and Statoil aims to drive profitable growth within this space.
“Through the new fund, we look forward to investing in attractive and ambitious companies and contribute to shaping the future of energy,” says Irene Rummelhoff, Statoil’s executive vice president for New Energy Solutions.
The fund is established as part of Statoil’s new business area New Energy Solutions, reflecting the company’s aspirations to gradually complement its oil and gas portfolio with profitable renewable energy and low-carbon solutions.
Gareth Burns, vice president in Statoil and managing director of Statoil Energy Ventures, said: “We offer a strong financial muscle and are ready to invest in three strategic areas: supporting our current operations in renewables, positioning in renewable growth opportunities, and exploring new high impact technologies and business models.”
The team initially consists of six investment professionals operating with a global mandate, initially based out of Statoil’s offices in London and Oslo.
The fund will take direct positions primarily as a minority shareholder in growth companies, preferably as a co-investor with other venture firms. Investment in selected fund will also be considered to gain a wider footprint.
The Statoil Energy Ventures team, focusing on growth-phase investments in renewable energy, will operate alongside Statoil’s existing venture entity, Statoil Technology Invest (STI), which focuses on early-phase investments in upstream oil and gas.
STI has invested around $135 million since 2000, achieving a multiple of invested capital on realized deals of 2.5.
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