ENGIE Factory’s Venture Build Program Invests in Founders

19 May 2020

Interested in launching your own startup in the zero carbon space? Look no further.

As a corporate venture builder, ENGIE Factory takes a strategic approach to building and investing in new founders and ventures. The promise of a financial return alone is not enough for us to invest in a startup. We balance the requirement for financial gain with strategic benefit for the wider ENGIE group and, most importantly, the benefit for the planet and society.

Sound interesting to you? This is what we look for in new founders and venture opportunities.

We back bold founders with a knack for solving problems

New to energy? No problem. We believe that talent comes from all backgrounds. Regardless of education or previous experience, we look to partner with individuals that share our values and mission. We look for people who have proven that they can achieve ambitious goals and enjoy solving difficult problems. People who are able to keep going when things get tough and have the ability to inspire action from those around them.

In the early days of launching a startup, the team is the most important factor. With the right team and a strong focus on execution, any challenge or difficulty that pops up can be overcome. We look for talented individuals that have the right mindset to lead companies through uncertainty and the perseverance to overcome obstacles as they come.

This is a partnership not a pitch competition

Our venture build program is designed to deliver investment-grade venture opportunities. Unlike other accelerator programs, we don’t ask teams to pitch to us and then pick the best ideas. We partner with founders, and our cohort size is based on the available investment. So far we’ve invested in all of our ventures.

Founders select areas of interest and sectors based on their passions, experience and network. We work with founders during the program to iterate, prototype and test ideas until we find an investment grade venture opportunity.

We build & invest in ideas that contribute to the zero carbon transition

Unique in Singapore, ENGIE Factory focuses exclusively on the zero carbon space. We invest in ideas related to energy efficiency, green mobility, smart cities and renewable energy.

Globally, more energy is wasted than used every year

Buildings and Industry are some of the biggest consumers of energy and are responsible for 34% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Much of this energy is wasted because it is used unnecessarily or poorly managed.

We are interested in technologies that optimize usage or transform wasted energy, paired with new business models, that can reduce the amount of energy needed to power our buildings and businesses while also saving money and adding value to our clients.

Green mobility

Half of all energy used is on transportation

Millions of people commute to work every day by car, and hundreds of thousands of trucks transport our goods. These vehicles are the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution – leading to millions of deaths each year.

Despite the promise of electric vehicles dramatically lowering pollution, it is not fast enough. We want to accelerate the transition away from combustion engines and fossil fuels by removing barriers to the adoption of electric vehicles.

In many markets, the cost of electric vehicles is not competitive with gasoline powered engines, and consumers are concerned about the lack of supporting infrastructure. We see promise in providing new forms of financing, and investing in infrastructure to address some of these obstacles.

Smart cities

Better outcomes for society

‘Smart cities’ can be a catch-all buzzword devoid of any real meaning. But the fundamental idea of living in smarter ways is still a good one.

Data and insight enables us to be more aware of the way we live, observe our behavior, and correct the aspects of life we want to improve.

We believe in business models which can create, capture and utilize data to help us become more conscious of our impact to provide better outcomes for citizens, businesses, and governments. This could mean providing insights to homeowners to help them lower their energy consumption, helping businesses understand how to better retain employees or helping cities avoid the next natural disaster.  

Renewable energy

ENGIE group is committed to doubling its installed renewable energy generating capacity by 2025, and ENGIE Factory contributes to this

Renewable energy can not only improve our environment, but also our communities. Renewable energy is not only cleaner than fossil fuels, but for the first time in history, it is cheaper. Global access to cheaper energy can help to reduce poverty, make food more plentiful, and reduce conflict between nations.

We believe economics is the key. New sources of energy must be cheaper than old ones, without subsidies. We won’t be inventing the next battery technology, but with the right business model we would like to scale those batteries globally. We look for ideas which can help us provide renewable energy to industry and consumers, connect the millions of people who still do not have access to reliable electricity, and can help to make the most of the renewables that we already have.

We look to empower – never control

We believe in empowering the talented founders to build and shape ventures according to the needs of the market and customers, not our opinions. We do not seek to always maintain majority shareholding or have more rights than other investors. We target shareholdings of 30% or less, providing plenty of equity to reward founders, early employees and co-investors.

We want to be the best partner our founders have ever had. In addition to capital, we provide the tools and support to help founders achieve their ambitious goals. We provide industry expertise through the ENGIE network, access to the investor community and help with hiring exceptional talent.

Our ventures provide tangible benefits to ENGIE Group

All of the ventures we build and invest in must share a mutual benefit with ENGIE’s existing businesses. This ensures that all of our activities are moving toward our shared vision of the future and are strategically aligned.

Every new venture must have an ENGIE executive sponsor that will assist in the venture’s growth by being the bridge between the new venture and ENGIE’s core business. New ventures benefit from access to ENGIE’s network but also provide benefits back to the group. This could be from creating upsell and cross-sell opportunities with existing clients, openly sharing data and market information or spearheading entry into new markets and customer segments.