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  • FRIDAY WORLD, October 20:

  • Global New Energy Rising Fast
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  • The EV Future Is At Hand

    Monday, November 19, 2012


    Smart Grid Funding and M&A Q3 2012 Report

    October 2012 (Mercom Capital Group)


    Smart grid venture capital (VC) funding showed some signs of life in Q3 2012 with $238 million in 12 deals. The rise in funding was mostly due to $136 million raised by, a security and home automation company. VC funding in the last three quarters had been relatively weak (Q4 2011 - $66M/10 deals, Q1 2012 – $62M/10 deals, Q2 2012 - $66M/9 deals), whereas VC funding even without the transaction exceeded $100M this quarter.

    The top five deals this quarter included $136 million raised by from ABS Capital Partners, Equis Capital Partners, NJTC Venture Fund, and Technology Crossover Ventures; GridPoint, an energy management company raised $23.3 million (investors undisclosed); Viridity Energy, a demand side management solutions company, raised $15 million from Mitsui; Space-Time Insight, a geospatial information systems company, raised $14 million from EnerTech Capital, Novus Energy Partners, ClearSky Power & Technology Fund, Opus Capital Ventures and Start Up Farms International; and SIGFOX, a wireless connectivity solutions provider for smart metering, building intelligence and M2M among other markets using ultra narrow band technology, raised $12.6 million from Intel Capital, Elaia Partners, Partech Ventures International and iXO Private Equity.

    Twenty-two different investors participated in 12 VC deals in Q3 2012, but only EnerTech Capital was involved in multiple deals (two).

    Merger & Acquisition (M&A) activity in Q3 2012 totaled $2.2 billion in five transactions. Top M&A transactions were the $2 billion acquisition of Vivint, a security and home automation services company, by Blackstone, and the $183 million acquisition of smart grid and automation solutions provider ZIV Group by electrical transmission and distribution equipment company Crompton Greaves.

    Two major transactions this quarter -- $136 million raised by and the acquisition of Vivint for $2.2 billion by Blackstone Group -- is part of a growing trend in the United States and UK where home security companies have expanded into home automation either by leveraging their existing customer base or through acquisition.

    Apart from Vivint and, other companies in the home security/home automation business that were involved in funding and M&A deals in the last few years include AlertMe, Intamax Systems, Control4, iControl Networks, Home Automation, APX Alarm and Xanboo.

    With a built-in customer base, these companies have expanded their services to provide home automation including everything from interactive home security and monitoring, home energy management (appliances and electronics) and control, and even automated home health services to solar lease services. Vivint for example, through its Vivint Solar division has entered the solar lease business, is again leveraging its existing customer base and moving further from energy management to include generation.

    We may continue to see transactions in this niche where security, cable & telecom companies expand their offerings to cover the whole “Connected or Digital” home services which would include everything from communication and automation services to solar installation. We will also be watching for strategic M&As in this area as companies look to add service and technologies needed to compete.

    2011-12 (YTD) Smart Grid Funding and M&A

    Top acquirers with multiple deals in 2012 year to date: McWane Technology (Nighthawk and Synapse Wireless), Eaton (Cooper Industries and Gycom (Business Units in Sweden, Denmark and Finland), Siemens (Senergy Sistemas de Medicao and RuggedCom), Itron (SmartSynch and C&N Engineering’s GasGate Technology).

    Top acquirers with multiple deals in 2011: Schneider Electric (Telvent, Summit Energy, Viridity (DCIM technology), ABB (Power Corp, Epyon, Obvient Strategies), GE (FMC-Tech, Remote Energy Monitoring, SmartSignal Corporation), Alstom (Utility Integration Solutions, Psymetrix), Ameresco (Energy & Power solutions, Applied Energy Group) and EnerNOC (Energy Response, M2M Communications).

    Top acquirers with multiple deals in 2010: ABB (Insert Key Solutions, Ventyx), EnerNOC (Global Energy Partners, SmallFoot), GE (Opal Software, SNC-Lavalin (ECS Business, Network Management, Control Software), Honeywell (E-mon, Akuacom), Navigation Capital Partners (LEPService, Specialized Technical Services), Siemens (Site Controls, QuickStab (Software Package) - (SCS Info Tech)…

    VC Funding by Quarter

    VC funding in Q3 2012 amounted to $238 million in 12 deals. By comparison, funding in Q3 2011 was $97 million in 10 deals and Q2 2012 was $66 million in nine deals.

    VC Funding by Technology 2011-2012 (YTD)

    Looking at 2011 to 2012 year-to-date, Smart Grid Communication Technology companies have received the most funding as a technology group followed by Grid Optimization, Advance Meter Infrastructure (AMI) companies and Demand Response companies.

    VC Funding by Stage

    The average deal size in Q3 2012 was $19.8 million compared to $7.3 million in Q2 2012.

    The spikes in the chart below for average VC deal size were due to some larger deals: Q2 2010 - (Landis+Gyr $165M; OpenPeak $52M) Q3 2010 - (Trilliant $106M; Nexant $43M) Q4 2010 - (OPower - $50M; AlertMe $24M; Ice Energy $24M; Tendril $23M) Q3 2011 - (Six deals out of 10 in Q3 were for $10 million or more) Q3 2012 – ( $136M; GridPoint $23.3M) *The average deal size shot up considerably from $7.3 million in Q2 2012 to $19.8 million in Q3 2012, primarily due to the $136 million deal. Without the transaction, average VC deal size was $9.3 million.

    Top 5 VC Funding Deals

    The top VC deal in Q3 2012 included $136 million raised by, a security and home automation company, and $23.3 million raised by GridPoint, an energy management company. Other top deals included $15 million raised by Viridity Energy, a demand side management solutions company, $14 million raised by Space-Time Insight, a geospatial information systems startup and $12.6 million raised by SIGFOX, a wireless connectivity solutions provider for smart metering, building intelligence and M2M among other markets using ultra-narrow band technology.

    VC Activity by Country

    The United States accounted for more than half of total VC funding raised: $221 million in nine deals…

    Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)

    Top M&A transactions in Q3 2012 included the $2 billion acquisition of home automation-plus-solar player Vivint by Blackstone, and the $183 million acquisition of smart grid and Automation Solutions provider ZIV Group by electrical transmission and distribution equipment company Crompton Greaves. Other M&A transactions included the acquisition of Home Automation Inc. by Leviton; the acquisition of majority stake in Nighthawk, a wireless smart grid solutions provider, by McWane Technology and the acquisition of Synapse Wireless also by McWane Technology, all with M&A transaction details undisclosed…


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