Cleantech Group Celebrates Stand Out Achievements in Europe of the past 12 Months


ANTWERP, BELGIUM – May 15, 2018 – Cleantech Group (CTG) marked certain standout achievements of the last 12 months in its innovation ecosystem during the gala dinner of its 14th annual Cleantech Forum Europe, held in Antwerp, Belgium. (Antwerp is the 13th different European city to host a Cleantech Forum Europe.)

The awards made were part of an award series CTG has been running since 2002 to mark and celebrate key achievements from companies, investors, and individuals.

On this occasion, the following awards were made:

• Standout Fundraising Achievement of the Year – E-Leather
• Standout Fundraising Achievement of the Year – Aster Capital
• European Deal of the Year – REstore (Acquisition by Centrica)
• European Cleantech Corporation of Year – Shell

Please note that the year referenced is April 1-March 31, as CTG announces these awards at its annual Cleantech Forum Europe in the spring.

Two Standout Fundraising Achievement of the Year awards were made:

Standout Fundraising Achievement of the Year awards can be awarded to one (or more) “company, or an investor, active in clean technology in the Europe & Israel region whose fundraising achievement in the past 12 months (in this case, April 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018) stands out to the Cleantech Group’s analysts for any combination of its audacity or its novelty, its impressive execution or the quality of its syndicate, or its pioneering and example-setting nature.”

They were made to:

• Company: E-Leather, a provider of engineered materials recovering leather waste from the traditional leather industry. During the last 12 months the company raised a £70 million funding round from investors including ETF Partners and Hermes GPE. The funding will be used to develop a state-of-the-art facility to meet demand from a broad base of international industries. E-Leather supplies seating upholstery and cladding materials to over 150 of the world’s leading airlines, OEMS such as Mercedes, and rail and bus operators. In 2017, E-Leather entered a long-term strategic innovation partnership with Nike to introduce a new performance material, Nike Flyleather – a performance-engineered leather that is made from at least 50% recycled leather fibers and is lighter and more durable (based on abrasion testing), than full grain leather. E-Leather is also a Global Cleantech 100 company.

• Investor: Aster Capital, a Paris-based venture capital firm focused on the digital and industrial transformations of the energy and mobility markets in Europe and the US. In November 2017, Aster Capital announced the successful raising of €240 million in a first closing of its new fund, capital raised from several industrial players. This was the stand-out single fundraising achievement of the year in Europe for this theme.

Our European Deal of the Year award exists to recognize “stand-out deals, in consideration not only for their financial characteristics, but also for the wider impact and what the deal says for the future of deal-making for clean technology companies and investors, and for the direction and future of sustainable innovation.”

The European Deal of the Year was awarded to REstore for the combination of achieving a strong financial outcome, along with clear strategic rationale for the future. REstore, a leading European energy technology company specializing in automated demand response, was acquired by UK-based energy and services company, Centrica, for €70 million in November 2017.

REstore brings to Centrica’s international Distributed Energy & Power unit core capabilities in demand response aggregation and asset optimization, making it well-placed to be a significant player in the offering of solutions to C&I customers today and in the future, in line with the ongoing evolution of global electricity markets. The acquisition will also further expand Centrica’s geographic footprint into new European markets while giving REstore the opportunity to expand their offerings into North America via Centrica’s presence there.

The European Cleantech Corporation of the Year award exists to recognize “a major European enterprise whose activities, actions and consistent support over multiple years have significantly contributed to the growth of cleantech innovation, and/or demand for cleaner products and services, and who has made some particularly noteworthy actions over the last 12 months.”

The 2018 European Cleantech Corporation of the Year was awarded to Shell. The following three reasons are why Shell stood out for this award:

1. The sense of a new level of commitment and action, with which Shell is gripping the challenges of the huge and disruptive transitions ongoing in the world of energy and transportation, and the urgency with which it has been making strategic moves.

2. The range of actions it has been taking. A few examples to illustrate include:

a. New Energy Solutions. Capital commitments of on average $1-2bn per annum behind this relatively new initiative (launched in May 2016) represents a significant commitment by Shell to transforming its own business model.

b. Commitments to lower carbon. Shell announced plans in Nov 2017 to cut the net carbon footprint of its energy products by around half by 2050, with an interim step of 20% by 2035 in line with society.

c. Acquisitions. There have been a number, but most striking are MP2 Energy and First Utility, for example, that set out Shell’s clear strategic intent to become a player in the electricity markets of the future.

d. Shell Ventures, Springboard and other initiatives and their work with the global innovation ecosystem and entrepreneurs, shaping the future industrial world.

e. A global player. We have seen deals across the map, geographically and in terms of the different dynamics on energy’s future – from renewables to EV charging, from mobility services to energy access.

f. Working in partnership with peers. Shell is one of the founding members of OGCI (Oil & Gas Climate Initiative), the cross-industry effort to de-carbonise the oil & gas industry.

3. The actions and transactions levels have noticeably increased over the last 12 months.

a. Shell has been the most active European-based CVC across the energy and industrial innovation themes we cover. Deals have included Axiom Energy, Husk Power, HyET, Innowatts, Steamaco, and Sunseap.

b. Shell has been an active acquirer. Examples over the period include:

i. The significant stake acquired in the US solar developer, Silicon Ranch Corporation (Jan 2018)
ii. The entry into the UK retail market via the acquisition of First Utility (Dec 2017)
iii. The acquisition of the Dutch venture-backed company, NewMotion, the pan-European network of electric vehicle charging stations (Oct 2017)
iv. The acquisition of Texas-based MP2 Energy, a leader in Demand Response Solutions (formally closed in September 2017)

About Cleantech Group (CTG)
Founded in 2002, the mission of Cleantech Group (CTG) is to accelerate sustainable innovation. Our subscriptions, events and programs are all designed to help corporates, investors, and all players in the innovation ecosystem discover and connect with the key companies, trends, and people in the market. Our coverage is global, spans the entire clean technology theme and is relevant to the future of all industries. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, with a growing international presence in London.