National Grid, the gas and electricity corporation in the northeast, sets a flag in Silicon Valley with the founding of National Grid Partners.
Under the leadership of formerly Intel Capital Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Lisa Lambert, NGP has earmarked $ 250 million for investment in technology startups with growth in the next two to three years. NGP is based in Las Gatos and plans to fund 10 to 15 start-ups annually.
"We want to disturb ourselves before we get disturbed," Lambert told TechCrunch. "It's the only way to protect yourself in a world where nobody really is safe."
Deal size varies according to Lambert. NGP plans to support cleantech companies in sectors such as artificial intelligence, smart assets, enterprise SaaS, security and blockchain.
The purpose of the In-House Venture Fund is to provide the utilities industry with a much-needed boost to innovation.
"You can not be satisfied with the status quo," says Lambert. "If the telecoms industry could do it all over again, if the phone breaks out, they would have done it differently. We do not want to be in the same situation where we rely on the strength of our asset profile or the fact that we are regulated. Other industries had the same profile, it was hard for start-ups to break in, and yet they were disturbed ̵
NGP has so far provided five startups with capital, including Big Data Analytics Startup AutoGrid which aims to support the preventive maintenance and response of industrial industrial demand in the US; Weather Forecast Startup ClimaCell Distributed Energy Resources Market Leap; Omnidian Providers of investment protection plans for residential and commercial solar energy systems; and Sitetracker a SaaS platform focused on utilities and telecommunications.
The Fund will also assist start-up startups looking for a suitable product market and advise prospective investors through a venture scholarship and training program.