The energetic and climatic challenge

18/Innovation: investment in cleantech

  • An attractive city for investors
    An attractive city for investors
  • Investments 2101–2013 / Source: Cleantech Fundraising Barometer in France, 2013 Review, E&Y and Green Univers
    Investments 2101–2013 / Source: Cleantech Fundraising Barometer in France, 2013 Review, E&Y and Green Univers

In 2013 cleantech venture capitalists invested €319.4 million in 81 companies in France, less than in 2012 but a higher number of transactions (up 11% vs 2012). This was still a good figure after a record year in 2012, when total investment doubled, primarily due to very large investment operations.

Many sectors are showing promise in France, as evidenced by growing investor interest in innovative sectors such as energy storage, smart grids and green chemistry. A further positive sign is that cleantech start-ups are managing to find financing: 50% of the amounts invested in 2013 correspond to innovation capital or seed money.
Source – Cleantech Fundraising Barometer in France– 2013 4th quarter and annual report

In 2013, France led the European ranking of innovation capital in volume, with 29% of investment, ahead of the UK and Germany for the first time since 2009.

Source – Dow Jones Ventures data for E&Y.

The emergence of new players

There has been steady activity from dedicated funds and a ramp-up of recent corporate or multi-corporate funds, specifically:

Electranova (EDF), Aster Capital (Schneider, Alstom and Solvay), Ecomobilité Ventures (SNCF, Orange and Total) and Blue Orange (Suez Environnement).

 Cleantech Business Angels

A business angel network that invests in products and services in the energy and environment sectors.

 France’s “Investments in the Future” Programme

An Ecotechnology Fund has been created to support the sector’s innovative SMEs. The €150 million fund invests jointly with private investment firms, for equity or quasi-equity interests of between €1 million and €10 million.

It has four target sectors: carbon-free renewable energy and green chemistry, smart grids, waste recovery and pollution control, and vehicles of the future.