Here is our Q2 2019 summary report on the energy technology startup sector. The following report includes a sector overview and recent activity.
How has the exit activity for energy technology developed in the first half of 2019? This blog post explores energy technology exit metrics through Q2 2019 and compares them to previous years. The graph below shows the number of energy technology exits by year, stacked by quarters.
As the graphic demonstrates, energy technology has seen a total of 9 exit events through Q2 of this year. This represents 56% of the total exits in 2018, and 69% of the exits through Q2 in 2018. Some of the exit events in Q2 2019 include Archeio Technologies’ acquisition by Quorum Software, FirstFuel Software’s acquisition by Tendril, and Rive Technology’s acquisition by WR Grace.
A straight-line projection of the completed exit activity this year would come out to 18 exit events, which exceeds the total exits in 2018 by 13%. On the other hand, a weighted quarterly average projection of 2019 exit activity would come out to 11 exit events, which falls short of the total exits in 2018 by 31%. Therefore, based on the mid-year data, energy technology exit activity in 2019 is projected to be relatively on par with the exit activity in 2018.
How is the funding environment shaping up for energy technology in 2019? As we pass the mid-year mark, let’s see how the year-to-date metrics compare to the historical trends. The graph below shows energy technology total funding by year, stacked by quarters.
As the graphic demonstrates, energy technology has amassed $5.5B through Q1 and Q2 of this year. This amount represents 58% of the total funding in 2018, and 132% of the funding through Q2 in 2018. The top three funding events in Q2 2019 include a $208M round into Spruce Finance, a $195M round into Lightsource Renewable Energy, and a $170M round into Sila Nanotechnologies.
A straight-line projection of the completed funding this year would result in $11B, which is 116% of the total 2018 funding. By the same token, a weighted quarterly average projection of 2019 funding would result in $12.5B, which exceeds the total 2018 funding by 32%. Therefore, based on the mid-year data, energy technology funding in 2019 is projected to be higher than the funding in 2018.
This blog post examines the different components of the energy technology ecosystem. We will illustrate what the categories of innovation are and which categories have the most companies. We will also compare the categories in terms of their funding and maturity.
Solar Energy Is The Largest Energy Technology Category
Let’s start off by looking at the Sector Map. We have classified 789 energy technology startups into 12 categories. They have raised $72B from 1630 investors. The Sector Map highlights the number of companies in each category. It also shows a random sampling of companies in each category.
We see that Solar Energy is the largest category with 181 companies. These companies generate power by converting sunlight into electricity. Their technology includes solar panel manufacturers, designers, installers, and monitoring solutions. Some example companies are Mosaic, NexWafe, BrightSource Energy, and Heliatek.
Let’s now look at our Innovation Quadrant to find out the funding and maturity of these categories in relation to one another.
The Pioneers Quadrant Has the Most Energy Technology Categories
Our Innovation Quadrant divides the energy technology categories into four different quadrants.
We see that the Pioneers quadrant has the most number of energy technology categories at 6, accounting for 50% of all energy technology categories. The Fuel Cell Technology category has the highest average age, and the Energy Storage category has the highest average funding. On the other hand, the Energy Production By-Product Management and Consumer Energy Efficiency Tools categories are low on both average funding and age.
The energy technology industry has seen 1,630 investors and $72B total all time funding. Let’s analyze which energy technology categories have the most number of investors actively financing the startups. The graphic below highlights energy technology categories based on the number of investors in each category.
As the graphic demonstrates, Energy Infrastructure has the highest number of investors at 548, with Solar Energy following closely behind at 518. Energy Infrastructure companies build enabling technologies for the production of energy. Solar Energy companies build technologies that generate power by converting sunlight into electricity. In addition, the average number of investors across all energy technology categories is 196.
For this quarter’s funding analysis, let’s examine how average funding in the energy technology sector is evolving. The graphic below shows the energy technology average funding across all deals over time by quarter.
As the graphic demonstrates, energy technology average funding deal size in Q1 2019 was at $52M, which decreased by 27% from the $72M last quarter. The average funding deal size has been holding steady, with the average funding last quarter about 74% of the average funding 5 years ago. The top three funding events in Q1 2019 include a $350M round into ReNew Power, a $100M round into Kinestral Technologies, and a $68M round into Carbon Engineering.