Venture capital smart grid funding reaches $405 million

Venture capital funding into smart grid technology companies came in at $405 million in 63 deals in 2013, compared to $434 million in 40 deals in 2012. Total corporate funding, including debt and public market financings, came to $579 million in 2013, compared to $506 million in 2012.

There were 94 total venture capital investors in 2013, with 12 active investors participating in multiple deals. It was an active Q42013, with $148 million in 31 deals. This is according to Mercom Capital Group, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm.

"Deal activity picked up towards the end of the year, and after a long pause, IPOs have made a comeback," commented Raj Prabhu, CEO and Co-Founder of Mercom Capital Group. "After half a billion dollars of venture capital investments into home energy companies, the market is finally coalescing around connected home packages as convenience is seen as a better sell with consumers. A single vendor offering a bundle with cable, security, phone and other services and no upfront costs, has removed the barrier for these technologies to find their way into homes."

There were three IPOs in 2013 raising a combined $162.3 million.

The top venture capital funded companies in 2013 were led by Nest Labs, which raised $80 million (Nest was recently acquired by Google for $3.2 billion). Utilidata raised $20.5 million; Space-Time Insight raised $20 million; Enlighted raised $20 million; and GreenWave Reality raised $19 million.

The top venture capital investors in 2013 included RockPort Capital Partners, Khosla Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Navitas Capital.

By technology, home/building automation & energy management companies raised $190 million, grid optimization companies — $51 million, demand response companies — $50 million, AMI companies — $32 million, and data analytics companies brought in $16 million.

There were 16 merger and acquisition transactions that changed hands in 2013 for $5.3 billion. Only five transactions had disclosed dollar amounts. The top disclosed transactions were the $5.2 billion acquisition of Invensys by Schneider Electric, followed by the $107 million acquisition of JouleX by Cisco, and the $11 million acquisition of Consert by Toshiba.

Eighteen companies made multiple acquisitions since 2010. The top acquirers have been ABB, Schneider Electric, GE, Siemens, and EnerNOC.

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