EU Innovation Council Invests €17.5 Million in Electrochaea’s Power-to-Methane Technology

Electrochaea ́s power-to-gas technology receives funding from the European Innovation Council (EIC), confirming that their market-ready innovations make an important contribution to the goals of the European Green Deal and the UN agenda for sustainable development.
Based on biocatalysis, Electrochaea offers a multiple nationally and internationally patented key power-to-gas technology, which cost-effectively recycles CO2 and at the same time produces CO2-neutral methane from excess electrical energy that can be stored and used as required.

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In total, more than 2,000 European companies applied for the “EIC Accelerator” pilot program. Electrochaea is one of only 64 selected start-ups and medium-sized companies supported bythe Councilwith their projects. The EIC Accelerator program is part of the EU research and innovation program”Horizon2020″. It is aimed at entrepreneurs and SMEs that can apply for grants or mixed financing from grants and equity support. Since this year, around €300 million are available for submissions that promote the European Green Deal. Electrochaea fulfils this requirement in three ways: the long-term storage of renewable energy, production of biomethane, and reduction of the carbon footprint by using CO2 emitted by various industrial sources.

“We are proud to be one of the few selected funding recipients of the EIC. For us, this funding commitment is also a crucial strategic statement,” explains Dr. Doris Hafenbradl, CTO of Electrochaea. “In its rationale, the European Innovation Council confirms for the first time and in all clarity that Europe needs sustainable storage solutions for renewable energy sources and that green gas is indispensable for a sustainable, reliable and comprehensive energy supply”.

The EU funds will be used for the so-called scale-up, the development of the technology from existing pilot plants to commercially scaled plants. With the equity investment, Electrochaea will construct a fully operational 10 to 20 MW plant. The outcome is that customers will benefit: by scaling up and building a sample plant, the risk for commercial projects will be minimized and Electrochaea will be able to offer reliable and highly efficient standardized plants. “The additional financial resources will help us to apply the potential of biological methanation even faster on a commercial scale,” says Hafenbradl. “The European Innovation Council explicitly recognizes the expertise, diversity and motivation of our team as important factors in our success story in constructing industrial pilot plants and forming strategic partnerships with key players”.

Harald Beschid (COO), Doris Hafenbradl (CTO and Managing Director) and Birgit Lewandowski (Director Development) of Electrochaea are pleased about the investment of the European Innovation Council and consider it as a strong political signal. (© Electrochaea GmbH, 2020)


Prolupin Secures Growth Financing

Prolupin announces growth financing round led by

Capricorn Partners and Novax

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Prolupin, the innovative plant-based protein company based in Grimmen, Germany, today announced the first closing of a double digit million growth financing round which will enable the company to expand its B2B and B2C offerings. After exceptional year-on-year growth since market introduction of its vegan Made with LUVE brand in 2015, the new financing will allow Prolupin to address the mass market for further growth and international expansion. The round was led by Capricorn Partners, from its Capricorn Sustainable Chemistry Fund and on behalf of Quest for Growth, an independent manager of private and quoted equity funds that invest in minority shareholding positions of innovative companies with technology as competitive advantage and Novax, the Stockholm-based growth investor powered by the Swedish Axel Johnson family, hallmarked by their long-term commitments and prominent holdings within the food space. The round
was initiated by existing investors Munich Venture Partners and eCapital Entrepreneurial Partners, who joined and hired the investment bank Bryan, Garnier & Co as exclusive financial advisor on the transaction.

The Capricorn Partners and Novax investment brings a broad mix of technology expertise and trade network resources to Prolupin as it seeks to grow its plant-based offerings from lupines both B2B and B2C, including the non-dairy yoghurts, milks, ice creams and cream cheeses on the European market under the vegan Made with LUVE brand.

Malte Stampe, CEO of Prolupin commented “the addition of Capricorn and Novax to our team will enable us to accelerate the growth of Prolupin within B2B and B2C. The marketing and distribution we are now able to deploy over the coming years will put our unique Lupine Protein Isolate (LPI) as well as the vegan Made with LUVE brand center stage for customers and consumers aiming for a healthy, sustainable ingredient and lifestyle.”

Reiner Kuester, Chairman of the Supervisory Board said “we are delighted to welcome Capricorn and Novax and the expertise they bring to the board. This investment from industry experts further validates the potential of Prolupin to become a major player in plant-based foods.”

Yvette Go, Senior Investment Manager at Capricorn Partners added “we were attracted by the potential of this innovative plant-based protein company. And we are very impressed with Prolupin’s unique approach of successfully proving the application potential of lupine with the Made with LUVE brand. As investors in technology companies we are excited to join forces in supporting the growth of Prolupin’s business using its unique technology advantage to expand in both B2B and B2C markets.”

Pär Warnström, Senior Investment Manager at Novax added “we were impressed by Prolupin’s unique capability to process the potent lupine crop, and look forward to partner with Malte and the team on their journey towards becoming a pioneering leader in the field of healthy plant-based foods.”

 

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About Prolupin: Prolupin is a spin out from the  Fraunhofer-Institut für Verfahrenstechnik und Verpackung (IVV) in Munich with deep scientific expertise and a patent protected process for producing protein isolates from lupines. The company produces and markets a range of purely plant-based non-dairy alternatives to yoghurts, milks, ice creams and cream cheeses to address the growing demand for tasty plant-based foods for consumers focused on health and sustainability. For further information contact Malte Stampe, CEO at ms@prolupin.de or www.prolupin.com and madewithluve.de

About Capricorn Partners: Capricorn Partners is an independent European manager of venture capital and equity funds, investing in innovative European companies with technology as competitive advantage. The investment team of Capricorn is composed of experienced investment managers with deep technology expertise and a broad industrial experience. Capricorn Partners is managing the venture capital funds Capricorn Sustainable Chemistry Fund, Capricorn Digital Growth Fund, Capricorn ICT Arkiv, Capricorn Health-tech Fund and Capricorn Cleantech Fund. In addition, it is the management company of Quest for Growth, quoted on NYSE Euronext Brussels, and the investment manager of Quest Cleantech Fund and Quest+, sub‐funds of Quest Management SICAV, registered in Luxembourg. Find more information at www.capricorn.be

About Quest for Growth: QUEST FOR GROWTH is a privak/pricaf, a public alternative investment fund (AIF) with fixed capital under Belgian law, managed by Capricorn Partners NV. The diversified portfolio of Quest for Growth is for the most part invested in growth companies listed on European stock exchanges, in European unquoted companies and in venture capital funds. Quest for Growth focuses on innovative companies in areas such as digital technologies (ICT), technologies for the healthcare sector (Health-tech) and clean technology (Cleantech). Quest for Growth has been listed on Euronext Brussels since 23 September 1998. Find more information at www.questforgrowth.com/en

About Novax: A long-term investor and partner to fast-growing businesses across Europe with strong teams, sector-leading positions and high-impact potential. Founded in 1999 and based in Stockholm, Novax is a part of the Swedish Axel Johnson Group. Investments include Academic Work, ApoEx, Bruce, Filippa K, Hedvig, Matsmart, Leeroy, RCO, STC and Voyado. Through our long-term and thesis-driven devotion to a limited number of sectors, we are committed to support pioneering businesses on their journeys toward market-leadership over the long-haul. Find more information under www.axeljohnson.se/bolag/novax

About eCAPITAL: eCAPITAL entrepreneurial Partners AG is a Münster-based alternative investment fund manager (AIFM) in accordance with EU-directive EuVECA. As a leading German venture capital firm, eCAPITAL has supported innovative entrepreneurs in future-oriented industries since 1999. The firm focuses on rapidly growing companies in the areas of Software / IT, Cleantech, Industry 4.0 and New Materials. Currently, eCAPITAL manages six funds with a total of 220 million euros under management. Find more information under www.ecapital.de/en

About Munich Venture Partners: Munich Venture Partners is a European venture capital investor backing entrepreneurs driving the eco-industrial revolution with transformative technologies. The investment focus is on sectors with CO2 emission-intensive value chains: energy, mobility, agriculture and food, and industrial technologies. MVP has more than 15 years of experience investing in cleantech start-ups across Europe, including investments in recent success cases relayr and sonnen. Find more information under http://www.munichvp.com

About Bryan, Garnier & Co: Bryan, Garnier & Co is a European, full-service growth-focused independent investment banking partnership founded in 1996. The firm provides equity research, sales and trading, private and public capital raising as well as M&A services to growth companies and their investors. It focuses on key growth sectors of the economy including Technology, Healthcare, Consumer and Business Services. Bryan, Garnier & Co is a fully registered broker dealer authorized and regulated by the FCA in Europe and the FINRA in the U.S. Bryan, Garnier & Co is headquartered in London, with additional offices in Paris, Munich, Stockholm, Oslo, Reykjavik as well as New York and Palo Alto. The firm is a member of the London Stock Exchange. Find more information under www.bryangarnier.com

GreenCom Networks

time to shine

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MVP portfolio company GreenCom Networks is acquiring shine, founded by the innogy Innovation Hub. shine made its name by building up energy management services for residential customers. The start-up already utilizes GreenCom’s Energy Information Brokerage Platform and has expanded GreenCom’s services with an array of services including shine energy check, shineSmart, and shineHub.

GreenCom will integrate shine’s end-customer base and services into its energy IoT platform. This will allow GreenCom to offer end-to-end services on top of its technology platform, which allows integration of solar PV, batteries, heat pumps or electric vehicles from various manufacturers. GreenCom plans to demonstrate disruptive services for residential customers that go beyond today’s flat-rate or energy community offerings in the market. Those lessons will be used to support GreenCom’s utility partners and device manufacturers to speed up the transition towards a future energy world.

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Electrochaea injects biomethane into Danish natural gas grid

World's biggest biological power-to-gas plant

feeds biomethane into Danish natural gas grid

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Renewable methane, produced by the world’s largest biological power-to-gas plant, was injected for the first time into the Danish natural gas grid on September 24, 2019 near Copenhagen, Denmark. Using Electrochaea’s patented power-to-gas technology, the energy in green electricity can be stored in the natural gas grid for later use. Microorganisms, called archaea, are the key to the technology; the archaea exclusively synthesize methane, the key component of natural gas, from carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen. At the Danish plant, the archaea make methane by combining CO2 from a nearby wastewater treatment plant with hydrogen produced by an on-site electrolyzer, which uses electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. With a power consumption of one megawatt, the plant has the capacity to inject up to 31 SCFM of biomethane (1200 m3 per day) into the natural gas grid at the same time preventing the release of 800 tons of CO2 per year. The gas produced contains more than 98% methane and less than 1% hydrogen and CO2, exceeding the requirements for gas grid injection in Denmark. This high gas quality also exceeds the injection criteria in other relevant markets, such as Germany and California. The plant was built and operated with the support of the joint BioCat project (www.biocatproject.com), funded by the Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program (EUDP) of the Danish Energy Agency. The main goals of project are to develop an efficient and marketable solution for the storage of wind energy, which is needed to balance energy supply and demand in situations where variable renewable energy sources, such as wind power, are dominant. The interest in storage solutions for renewable energy is particularly high in Denmark. The country’s goal is to be independent of fossil fuels and to have 100% renewable energy for all uses including transportation by 2050. By 2030, Denmark wants to produce 70% less CO2 compared to 1990 emissions.

Read the full press release here


Electrochaea: start of the first scalable biomethanisation plant in the USA

SoCalGas and Electrochaea announce commissioning

of new biomethanation reactor system

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Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and Electrochaea today announced the commissioning of the nation’s first scalable biomethanation reactor system at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Energy System Integration Facility in Golden, Colo.  The technology uses renewable electricity to convert hydrogen into pipeline quality methane for use in homes, businesses and in transportation.  Over the next 24 months, the project will assess the commercial viability of this power-to-gas approach to energy storage and decarbonization and provide insights into potential mega-watt scale system designs.
The project in Colorado builds upon and advances research previously conducted by Electrochaea. The reactor system operates at a 50 to 60 percent efficiency.  For every 10 kilowatts-hour of power received by the water electrolysis model, the equivalent of 5 to 6 kilowatts-hour of methane is created by the microbes.

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innogy Innovation Hub invests in GreenCom

GreenCom Networks, the Munich-based leader in home energy management solutions, has announced that innogy Innovation Hub, the Venture Capital Arm of innogy SE, a leading German energy company, has become an investor. innogy SE supplies energy to around 22 million customers across Europe.

Christian Feisst, CEO of GreenCom Networks said: “innogy Innovation Hub and GreenCom Networks share a common vision and goals, making this investment a logical next step for both parties. We both believe in the same emerging business model: the customer will be the asset of the future. It is all about services around the customer.”

Patrick Elftmann, investment partner at innogy Innovation Hub, said: “We’ve been working closely with GreenCom Networks since 2017 and are delighted to deepen our collaboration with this investment to support their future growth. GreenCom’s innovative products and services, focusing on home energy management, have an important role to play in the power business in Europe and beyond. Christian and his team have an exceptional understanding of future energy business models and developed state-of-the-art technology to support a consumer-driven, connected and low carbon powered future.

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GreenCom Network's time to shine

GreenCom Networks acquires

home energy management start-up shine

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MVP portfolio company GreenCom Networks is acquiring shine, founded by the innogy Innovation Hub. shine made its name by building up energy management services for residential customers. The start-up already utilizes GreenCom’s Energy Information Brokerage Platform and has expanded GreenCom’s services with an array of services including shine energy check, shineSmart, and shineHub.

GreenCom will integrate shine’s end-customer base and services into its energy IoT platform. This will allow GreenCom to offer end-to-end services on top of its technology platform, which allows integration of solar PV, batteries, heat pumps or electric vehicles from various manufacturers. GreenCom plans to demonstrate disruptive services for residential customers that go beyond today’s flat-rate or energy community offerings in the market. Those lessons will be used to support GreenCom’s utility partners and device manufacturers to speed up the transition towards a future energy world.

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Storengy invests in Electrochaea

Storengy pioneers power-to-gas market

with investment in Electrochaea

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Becoming a shareholder of Electrochaea GmbH, the leading provider of power-to-gas technology based on biological methanation located in Munich, Germany, STORENGY is positioning itself on an emerging market, bringing together its operator and integrator skills and an innovative technology already efficient.
Electrochaea’s existing investors (MVP, KfW, btov, Caliza, and Focus First) were excited to invest along with Storengy in this financing round.
Simultaneously with the investment, Storengy and Electrochaea are planning to roll out commercial projects in the North American and European markets. With a strong pipeline of projects, Storengy and Electrochaea want to be a leading provider of Power-to-Gas worldwide.

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GreenCom secures investment by Centrica

Home Energy IoT provider Greencom Networks closes

fundraising round with Centrica Innovations

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GreenCom Networks has successfully closed a significant fundraising round led by international energy and service company Centrica. The current shareholders SET Ventures, Munich Venture Partners and Cosmos were also participating in this round. The funding will be used to finance a further international expansion of GreenCom’s Energy Internet of Things (IoT) platform in the European market.

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Shell acquires battery start-up sonnen

Shell agrees to acquire sonnen, expanding its offering

of residential smart energy storage and energy services

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Shell New Energy has agreed to acquire 100% of sonnen, a leader in smart energy storage systems and innovative energy services for households. This follows an investment by Shell in May 2018 and means that post regulatory approval and completion sonnen will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Shel

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Munich Re acquires relayr

Munich Re buys IoT middleware

startup, realyr, in deal worth 300M

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MVP portfolio company relayr, whose middleware platform is geared towards helping industrial companies unlock data insights from their existing machinery and production line kit by linking Internet connected sensors and edge devices to platform controls, has been acquired by US based Hartford Steam Boiler, a subsidiary of insurance group Munich Re.

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