The top 25: David Hayes, CIO and managing director of Americas, BP Ventures

David Hayes has been chief investment officer (CIO) and managing director for Americas at BP Ventures, the corporate venturing arm of the UK-based energy company, since September 2019.

David Gilmour had led BP’s venture activities as vice-president of business development for group technology from 2016 until his retirement in mid-2020.

BP Ventures now stands at almost $700m, having invested in over 50 companies and 12 funds with 250 co-investors.

Hayes said: “2019 was a year of strong growth for BP Ventures. The year brought increased deal flow and investments, further recognition of our work and some great additions to our talented team.

“As we continue with 2020, despite current uncertainty, we look forward to finding more technologies and businesses that can help us reinvent BP – and deliver on our ambition to become a net-zero company by 2050 or sooner.”

In 2019, BP Ventures invested $47m  in new deals, $86m in 20 existing portfolio companies and $7m in funds.

Eight companies joined the portfolio including artificial intelligence (AI)-backed energy system provider Grid Edge, protein-based feed producer Calysta and electric-vehicle charging developer Powershare. Completing this list are geoscience AI platform Belmont Technology, forestry management company Finite Carbon, digital mobility developer MaaS Global, carbon dioxide separation specialist C-Capture and Parts Tech, an automotive parts and supply platform.

BP Ventures achieved $16m of returns from exits in 2019, involving biotechnology company Mendel and commodities platform Xpansiv. The latter merged with Commodity Bourses to form data trading service Xpansiv CBL Holding Group (XCHG).

BP Ventures also partnered XCHG with cement and concrete technology company Solidia Technologies.

Last year the portfolio delivered $140m in strategic value from 16 technology deployments across BP. Air BP signed a fuel offtake agreement with Fulcrum BioEnergy, whose technology converts household waste into fuel.

Zero-emission powertrain provider Lightning Systems is now exploring microgrid solutions for commercial vehicle electrification with BP’s Alternative Energy and Advanced Mobility units. We also demonstrated a sub-five-minute charge of a scooter with ultra-fast charging developer StoreDot.

BP Retail, used energy efficiency monitoring system, Voltaware, to reduce cost and overall consumption.

In 2018, BP established launchpad for business-building and scale-up. It has since incubated three businesses and acquired two from BP Ventures’ portfolio: intelligent fibre optic sensing company Fotech and predictive maintenance platform Onyx. Launchpad offers a 12-week ‘Bootcamp’ focusing on market validation, strategy development and accelerated growth marketing for early-stage companies, like Voltaware and seaborne fuel monitoring technology developer Greensteam.

BP Ventures advocates inclusivity and the team has 44% female representation, with members from six nationalities across our global footprint.

Meghan Sharp, BP Ventures’ former managing director for Americas, joined Beyond Limits as chief operating officer (COO). Hayes succeeded Sharp in September 2019 and joined two other managing directors: Nacho Giménez for EMEA and Graham Howes for Asia-Pacific.

Hayes has worked for BP for 18 years after receiving a bachelor’s degree with honours in accounting and management control from Sheffield Hallam University in 2002. His finance-oriented career at the company includes a decade in venture capital with a transaction structuring concentration. He has director seats on boards of three companies: XCHG, Calysta and Fulcrum.

GCV Powerlist 2020 PDF