27 Oct 2010   |   News

Truffle Capital invests €7.5M in three energy start-ups


Truffle Capital has announced it has made three new investments in its portfolio of energy companies, putting in a total of €7.5 million.

“Truffle Capital is continuing to show its interest in innovative technology companies in the energy sector; as a business builder, we invest in firms which are seeking to become leaders in their respective markets,” said Jean-François Fourt, co-founder of the Paris-based venture capital firm.

Neelogy develops and commercialises innovative magnetic sensors. Truffle Capital has invested €3 million in a second round of financing, which will enable Neelogy to fund collaborative R&D programmes in the fields of energy conversion, installation protection and energy measurement.

Neelogy's technology is based on its Neel Effect technology, which enables highly accurate, hysteresis-free measurement of alternating and direct currents. Neelogy CEO Lionel Cima said, “We are very pleased with our collaboration with Truffle Capital, which will enable us to finance part of our development operations. We have initiated a number of major R&D programmes and we shall also be reinforcing our commercial and industrial teams.”

Acerde, founded in 2006, specialises in the design and formulation of high-performance materials. The company’s products are based on high-temperature chemical vapour deposition, a process which enables the deposition of extremely pure, high-quality materials for applications in harsh environments such as in the nuclear, aerospace and medical sectors. This investment is Truffle Capital’s first in the firm.

“The €1.5 million invested by Truffle Capital will enable Acerde to develop its technology for X-ray tube anodes and thus generate our first short-term revenues,” said Acerde’s founder Didier Pique.

Actility, founded in 2010, is developing ThingPark, a next-generation machine-to-machine communication platform, designed for massively scalable deployments of mission-critical applications. Actility uses this to develop applications targeting key areas of the smartgrid, such as demand management. These applications help limit consumption peaks in electricity networks and reduce the carbon footprint per kilowatt-hour.

Actility’s admission control technology also reduces the incremental investments in the distribution network required to serve the needs of electric vehicle charging. The company received €3 million from Truffle Capital in a first round of financing, in order to fund the first release of ThingPark, which is due to be operational in 2011.

The Actility management team was behind the introduction of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology into wireless broadband routers in Europe.

“Actility’s goal is to accelerate the delivery of concrete applications of the Internet of Things, starting with services which will help electricity distributors to offer load management services to their customers, in synergy with the grid. This will facilitate the increased use of renewable energy sources, reduce the pollution associated with demand peaks and lower the average cost of energy. This investment from Truffle Capital will give us an opportunity to achieve our goal more rapidly,” said Olivier Hersent, Actility’s founder.

Truffle Capital’s energy portfolio currently includes holdings in twelve companies, and there have been six exits since 2007, with companies going public or being acquired.

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