Global Corporate Venturing’s inaugural award for ‘Energy-tech Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) Investment of the Year’ was announced on November 8th during the Venture Houston conference.

The winner of Global Corporate Venturing’s inaugural award for ‘Energy-tech Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) Investment of the Year’ was announced at a gala dinner on November 8 during the Venture Houston conference. The winner of the award was Maana, a US-based company which describes itself as a “knowledge platform that accelerates knowledge discovery to increase profitability for industrial and oil & gas companies.”

In February 2018, the company raised over $33.2m of series C funding in a deal which included corporate venturing divisions Intel Capital, GE Ventures, Chevron Technology Ventures, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, Shell Technology Ventures and Accenture Ventures, as well as China International Capital Corporation. Maana CEO Babur Ozen collected the award.

The award celebrates the role of CVC in furthering three crucial energy trends:

  • widening the group of industries participating in the transformation of energy.
  • extending the geographic reach of new energy-relevant technology.
  • accelerating the uptake of new energy-relevant technology by large corporations.

The runners-up were (in alphabetical order):

  1. QuantumScape

Founded in 2010 as a spinout from Stanford University, QuantumScape’s tagline is “Solid-state Batteries That Work”. The Company’s batteries use solid electrolytes rather than liquid or polymer electrolytes utilised in the vast majority of batteries today, thereby potentially extending the range of electric vehicles and creating new opportunities in energy storage. In September 2018 the company received $100m of series E financing from Volkswagen.

  1. Sarcos Robotics

Sarcos, which is based in Utah and was founded in 1983, is building dexterous robots using proprietary actuation, sensor, and control technology that can be used to help conduct tasks in remote or hazardous environments in the energy, aerospace, mining and maritime industries. In October 2018, the company raised $30m of series B venture funding in a deal which included Caterpillar Ventures, GE Ventures, Microsoft and Schlumberger Technology Investments.

  1. Sonnen

Sonnen, previously known as Sonnenbatterie, is a Germany-based pioneer in solar-based energy storage system. In June 2018, the company raised €60m of series E funding in a deal which was led by Shell Ventures. Sonnen also counts GE Ventures and Inven Capital (the venture unit of the main Czech utility) among its corporate backers.

  1. Xpansiv

Based in California and founded in 2016. Xpansiv has developed commodity digitisation platform which combines big data with distributed ledger technology to create ‘Digital Feedstock’, thereby enabling the demonstration and validation of commodities’ provenance. In September 2018, the Company announced a series A round which included BP Ventures and S&P Global. The announcement followed Xpansiv’s partnership with CBL Markets, a spot exchange for environmental commodities.

Above: Babur Ozden, founder and CEO of Maana, receives at Venture Houston the Global Corporate Venturing Energy Award from Baker Botts partner Samantha Crispin with some of its CVC backers: Kash Siddiqui from Accenture Ventures, Kamal Anbarci from Chevron Technology Ventures, Daniel Carter from Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, and Lee Sessions from Intel Capital with, far right, Tom Whitehouse as host.