/ Financial / National Grid Partners Achieves Key Milestones: $450M+ Deployed Across 50 Climate Tech Investments

National Grid Partners Achieves Key Milestones: $450M+ Deployed Across 50 Climate Tech Investments

Parul Dubey on April 15, 2024 - in Financial, News

Three new investments in Captura, Luminance and Transcend total $17 million and will help to scale critical technologies to decarbonize utilities and create the grid of the future

MENLO PARK, Calif., April 11, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — National Grid Partners (NGP), the corporate venture capital and innovation arm of one of the world’s largest utilities, today announced three new investments advancing net zero and climate tech innovation totaling $17 million. The new deals bring NGP to key milestones of 50 investments, surpassing $450 million since the organization’s launch in 2018. Together, these new portfolio companies will help NGP bring more clean electricity online, make the grid more dynamic and accelerate decarbonization at scale.

NGP’s 50 total investments include five unicorn companies valued at over $1 billion and encompass a wide range of sectors, from AI-powered software and hardware solutions to EV charging systems and clean hydrogen technology. Notable recent funding announcements include Exodigo, an AI-powered underground mapping company that recently closed a $105 million Series A; and AiDash, which recently raised $50 million to make critical infrastructure more climate resistant.

The latest deals align with NGP’s recently announced four pillars of investing to help solve the most pressing challenges in the clean energy transition: Future Electric Networks, Customer First, Efficiency Through Innovation and Decarbonizing Gas. The three new portfolio companies are:

  • Captura (Pasadena, CA): Large-scale direct ocean carbon capture technology, vital for decarbonization.
  • Luminance (London, UK): Legal AI systems that streamline negotiation and analysis of contracts and other legal documents that are critical to swiftly developing clean energy and smart grid assets.
  • Transcend (Princeton, NJ): A generative design SaaS platform that fully automates the preliminary engineering of innovative and sustainable critical infrastructure (i.e., water & wastewater assets, electrical substations, and more).

In the last year, NGP also invested in 15 follow-on rounds totaling $26 million, reflecting the firm’s commitment to supporting portfolio companies for the long-term despite a challenging year for fundraising from venture capital.

“NGP goes beyond investment to help innovators navigate the complicated, highly regulated world of utilities to decarbonize our society at the scale and speed we need,” said Steve Smith, president of NGP. “Climate change is the challenge of our generation, and these milestones mark notable progress advancing the innovators who can help National Grid (and other utilities through our NextGrid Alliance) meet critical environmental and financial goals.” 

“In an era when we’re seeing some legacy industries back away from climate goals, NGP is hitting a new gear helping entrepreneurs to scale solutions across the utility industry,” Smith continued. “Our latest investments reflect our commitment to investing in innovation everywhere – whether pulling carbon from the high seas or helping National Grid harness AI to drive efficiency. The savings we can realize from new technologies are essential to meet this huge challenge while ensuring the energy transition is fair and affordable for customers.”

“National Grid Partners invests in pioneering technologies that solve today’s challenges,” said Eleanor Lightbody, CEO of Luminance. “In a world of increasing regulatory complexity, NGP’s unrivaled knowledge and experience operating in regulated environments is crucial to a portfolio company’s continued success.”

In addition to financial and strategic support for its portfolio companies, the organization also operates an innovation arm that works with non-portfolio startups and spins up additional climate-tech projects from the whiteboard to deployment.

This June, NGP and National Grid will host their first-ever Innovation Day in London, convening leaders from the energy, utility and regulatory sectors along with up-and-coming leaders to explore climate solutions to fast-track the energy transition.

About National Grid Partners
National Grid Partners (NGP) is the venture investment and innovation arm of National Grid plc., one of the world’s largest investor-owned energy companies. NGP invests for strategic and financial impact across four pillars: Future Electric Networks; Decarbonizing Gas; Customer First; and Efficiency Through Innovation. By providing corporate venture capital, business development counsel and direct integration with National Grid’s innovation team, NGP is accelerating the energy transition and helping innovators reach critical scale faster. We also convene the NextGrid Alliance (www.ngalliance.energy), an innovation network of senior executives from more than 100 worldwide utility companies. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, NGP has offices in Boston, London, and New York. Visit ngpartners.com or follow us on Twitter (@ngpartners_) and LinkedIn.

About Captura
Captura is a Direct Ocean Capture company headquartered in Pasadena, California. Captura combines innovative technology with the natural carbon removal powers of the ocean to remove CO2 from the atmosphere at large scale and low-cost, providing a critical capability in the fight against climate change. Captura was founded at Caltech, and its solution has been validated and supported by the Musk Foundation’s Carbon Removal XPRIZE, the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E, and Frontier Climate. For more information, visit www.capturacorp.com.

About Luminance
Built on a proprietary legal Large Language Model (LLM), Luminance brings AI to every touchpoint a business has with its documents – from instantly flagging non-standard clauses in any incoming contract in Microsoft Word and suggesting preferred language, to automatically identifying areas of non-compliance and key terms, obligations and dates in executed agreements. Developed by world-leading AI experts from the University of Cambridge, UK, validated by leading lawyers, and in use by over 600 customers in 70 countries, Luminance’s ‘legal-grade’ AI is a key component of any legal team.

About Transcend
Transcend is a leading Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company, developing generative design engineering tools for the global engineering, construction, technology/OEM, and utility sectors. Its revolutionary platform, the Transcend Design Generator (TDG), integrates various engineering design disciplines into a hosted cloud-based software, enabling users to input data and automatically generate complete preliminary engineering designs for a wide range of critical infrastructure projects and vertical assets. For more information, visit transcendinfra.com.

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