Mott MacDonald Ventures, the strategic corporate venture arm of global engineering, management and development consultancy Mott MacDonald, has made an equity investment in energy-market disruptor, cleantech start-up Piclo. The investment, part of a Series A £4.7M funding round led by the Clean Growth Fund, will see Mott MacDonald Ventures take a stake in the energy flexibility trading platform that connects buyers and sellers of energy.
Piclo, chaired by Volker Beckers the former group ceo of RWE Npower, was established in 2013 to accelerate the decarbonisation of electricity grids in the UK and overseas markets.
The company uses the latest digital technology to provide an independent, online flexibility marketplace that enables electricity networks to buy flexibility services from flexibility providers that support network resilience, defer grid reinforcement and advance network reliability.
The Piclo Flex platform is paving the way for new low carbon technologies, such as electric vehicles, energy storage and flexible demand to balance the grid at lower cost. It is currently in use by four of the UK’s distribution network operators, including UK Power Networks who awarded £14M of flexibility contracts via the Piclo platform last year.
Part of an investor syndicate with the Clean Growth Fund (which made its first investment in Piclo in December 2020) and the Green Angel Syndicate, Mott MacDonald Ventures is partnering with Piclo to support its mission to make electricity grids efficient, reliable and powered by sustainable energy.
Mott MacDonald Ventures will work closely with Piclo to deliver new digital solutions to clients in the energy, transport, water and built environment sectors, supported through Moata Smart Energy, a suite of digital tools that optimises performance and maximises returns from renewables.
The investment in Piclo is strongly linked to Mott MacDonald’s ‘Net Zero’ strategy which includes a toolkit that helps non-energy clients decarbonise their electricity supplies and deliver a sustainable transition towards new energy market design.
James Johnston, ceo and co-founder of Piclo said: “Strategic partnerships are very important for facing up to the challenge of decarbonisation, so it’s fantastic to close our Series A round with a like-minded investor that is as ambitious as we are. Alongside Mott MacDonald with the active support of the Clean Growth Fund and the Green Angel Syndicate, Piclo will continue to accelerate flexibility markets in the UK and internationally, grow our team and ramp up the development of new solutions”.
Beverley Gower-Jones, managing partner of Clean Growth Fund said: “Mott MacDonald’s welcome investment in Piclo is testament to their commitment to Net Zero. The Clean Growth Fund actively encourages co-investment from major corporates who have such an important role to play in achieving the global Net Zero goal.
Further investments are planned by Mott MacDonald Ventures through 2021.
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About Mott MacDonald Ventures
Mott MacDonald Ventures is a strategic corporate venture capital business that was established in 2018 to offer a collaborative approach to partnering with visionary start-ups that develop game-changing digital solutions. We provide founders with unparalleled capabilities and access to our global network of diverse clients.
Piclo develops software to make electricity grids smart, flexible and sustainable. The London based company has been building software for the energy industry since 2013. Piclo, chaired by Volker Beckers, has been named by Bloomberg as one of the UK’s top 50 Business Innovators and won Startup of the Year at European Utility Week.
Piclo Flex is an independent marketplace for trading flexibility online. The platform leverages the latest digital technology to provide market visibility, qualification services and online auctions.
Piclo is in commercial partnerships with four UK DNOs including Electricity North West, UK Power Networks, Northern Ireland Electricity Networks and SP Energy Networks. Over 380 flex providers have registered 11GW of assets on the platform, including demand-response aggregators, electricity suppliers, generation operators, battery operators, industrial and commercial customers, local authorities, community groups and electric vehicle charging operators.
About Clean Growth Fund
The Clean Growth Fund was launched in May 2020, with cornerstone investment from the UK Government’s Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and CCLA, one of the UK's largest charity fund managers with £10bn of assets under management. The Fund is targeting the UK’s most promising early-stage “clean growth” companies that are pioneering carbon emission reductions in the areas of power and energy, buildings, transport and waste. In January 2021, the Clean Growth Fund invested in Indra, an electric vehicle and smart energy technology, alongside Gulf Oil International.
The Fund’s remit is to drive superior financial returns for investors and accelerate the development and commercialisation of clean growth technologies in the UK – leading to the creation of new and skilled jobs across the country, and contributing to the UK’s efforts to deliver net zero by 2050.
Piclo’s mission is to decarbonise the grid. We develop software solutions that make our energy networks smarter, flexible and more sustainable. Piclo Max, our market access platform, enables flex sellers (such as EV and battery owners) to access all electricity markets from one place. Piclo Flex, our flexibility services marketplace, enables flex buyers (system operators) to source flexible electricity from flex sellers during times of high demand or low supply.
To date, Piclo has over 60,000 registered flexible assets representing 19GW of registered flex capacity, with flexibility contracts awarded totalling £74m and 2.6GW+ of flexible capacity procured.
Piclo Flex currently operates in six global markets: in the UK, supporting four Distribution System Operators (UK Power Networks, SP Energy Networks, Electricity North West and Northern Powergrid); and the Transmission System Operator (TSO) (the ESO); in Ireland (ESB Networks), Italy (E-Distribuzione), Portugal (E-REDES), Lithuania (Energijos Skirstymo Operatorius AB (ESO)), and in the United States in New York State (National Grid). Aside from its leading position in the UK, Piclo has a growing presence in Europe and the USA.
Register to Piclo Flex here: picloflex.com