Copel, the Brazilian electric company, has taken a step towards investing in startups and promoting energy transition in Brazil and Latin America. With a strategic focus, the company has launched Copel Ventures I, an investment fund in partnership with VOX Capital to support 15 startups leading the forefront of energy transformation.
This fund has been endowed with a total of USD $30 million and intends to make its first investments starting in 2023. The investment strategy of Copel Ventures I focuses on five key areas:
- Renewable and Clean Energy: focused on companies that are generating and applying renewable and clean energy sources.
- Energy as a Service: it focuses on solutions seeking to make energy more accessible and democratic, allowing more people to benefit from clean energy sources.
- Smart Cities: Copel Ventures I is interested in assets, facilities, and technology to make cities more competent and efficient.
- Asset and Facility Management: it explores opportunities to improve efficiency in both energy and operational terms in assets and facilities.
- Innovative Internal Practices Aligned with ESG: Copel Ventures I focuses on creative internal processes that are aligned with environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) practices.
Energy Transition in Latam
Cássio Santana, Business Development Director of Copel, highlights that the creation of this fund was a natural evolution of the company’s work in collaboration with startups over the last two years. Copel’s open innovation program, Copel Volt, has been successful in its innovation approach and laid the groundwork for venturing into Corporate Venture Capital.
Rafael Campos, Partner and Venture Capital Director of VOX, will lead the Copel Ventures team. The executive emphasizes that energy plays a central role in our lives, and innovations in this sector seek to expand access to renewable and clean energy sources while improving the user experience.
For its part, VOX Capital is a venture capital firm based in São Paulo that manages approximately 185 million dollars in assets under management and specializes in positive impact projects. The launch of the aforementioned fund reflects a growing trend among large companies seeking to invest in startups as a way to drive innovation and promote sustainability.
Moreover, the fund is in a privileged position to capitalize on the rapid growth of the energy transition market, which is expected to reach a value of USD $1.5 billion by 2025, with very attractive markets for the sector, such as Chile. In fact, according to Statista figures, the total installed capacity for renewable energy generation in Latin America increased between 2010 and 2021, reaching 291 gigawatts at the end of the period, representing an increase of almost 74% compared to 2010.
The planned investments are expected to range between USD $400,000 and USD $2 million per company. The fund aims to build a portfolio that includes around 15 startups. The first investments will be made in 2023, as the fund is already registered with the Comissão de Valores Mobiliários (CVM) in Brazil and is ready to begin its operations.
Source : Contxto