National Grid Partners Announces $150 Million in Fresh Investment Capital; Adds Two Disruptive Startups to its Fast-Growing Portfolio
LOS GATOS, Calif., April 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Since its launch less than three years ago, National Grid Partners (NGP) has put $227 million to work in dozens of startups at the intersection of energy and information technology.
Now the utility industry’s first Silicon Valley-based corporate venture and innovation group is poised to continue disrupting the future of energy with a new investment allocation of $150 million.
“Earth Week is a perfect time to announce this vote of confidence from our senior leadership,” said Lisa Lambert, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer of National Grid (LSE: NG;NYSE: NGG) and the Founder and President of National Grid Partners.
She noted that National Grid this week kicks off its sponsorship of the United Nations’ COP26 climate conference – the biggest convening of global environmental policy and industry leaders since the 2015 Paris Agreement.
As part of its COP26 activities in the United Kingdom this fall, NGP plans to hold its first annual summit of the Next Grid Alliance. This consortium of more than 60 worldwide utility companies provides senior level executives a platform to share industry best practices and to solve some of the biggest challenges facing the energy sector.
Lambert also announced today that NGP has invested $7.5M in two Silicon Valley companies that help enterprise customers protect physical and cyber infrastructure. They are:
- Mountain View, Calif.- based Pathr, which uncovers human behavior and interaction in physical spaces like office buildings and factories. Pathr’s cutting edge Spatial Intelligence platform uses existing hardware infrastructure to generate anonymous location data in real time. Better understanding of movement patterns can help Pathr customers increase revenue, optimize operations, improve energy efficiency, and strengthen physical security at their facilities.
- AccuKnox, a Cloud Security innovator headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif. Formed in partnership with Stanford Research Institute, AccuKnox provides a Zero-Trust run-time Kubernetes platform for comprehensive security, compliance and governance in public and private clouds. The company’s KubeArmor technology is built on seminal innovations in container security, unsupervised learning, and data provenance.
“We’re backing companies that can help National Grid serve its customers more safely and securely, so adding Pathr and AccuKnox to our portfolio is a significant step toward fulfilling that objective,” said Lambert.
While more than 70 percent of NGP’s portfolio companies have strategic engagements with National Grid – such as LineVision, which also joined the portfolio this month – seed-stage startups like AccuKnox and Pathr reflect NGP’s commitment to invest in every stage of the innovation ecosystem. That stage-agnostic approach also includes NGP’s Incubation office in San Francisco, and an Innovation team who turns ideas into prototypes that can be deployed in National Grid’s business units or spun out as stand-alone companies.
NGP has led more than 60 percent of its startup investment rounds, with two M&A exits.
“We are investing in and deploying technologies across National Grid’s networks to enhance resilience and reliability, while more easily integrating renewable energy,” said Lambert. “Our company’s ambition is to become the most intelligent, cleanest transmission and distribution network in the world.”