Clean Growth Fund makes first VC investment in Piclo

HMT acted as lead advisor to smart energy company Piclo, as they become the first company to gain investment by the Clean Growth Fund (“CGF”), the venture capital fund that was established in May of this year to invest in the UK’s most promising clean-tech companies.

Piclo was established in 2013 and is chaired by Volker Beckers the former Group CEO of RWE Npower. At the forefront of disrupting the energy sector, Piclo leverages the latest digital technology to develop an independent, online marketplace.

The Piclo Flex platform enables network operators to procure flexibility services that help balance the grid from technologies such as electric vehicles and battery storage, advancing the network’s reliability and providing new revenue streams to emerging technologies.

Piclo has commercially partnered with five of the six UK distribution network operators and is collaborating with National Grid ESO to enable new flexibility markets. In 2020, Piclo facilitated the UK’s largest ever flexibility tender at the distribution level that saw network operator UK Power Networks award £14million worth of flexibility contracts.

As well as the UK, the company is expanding its business in Europe and announced its first international trial.

The Clean Growth Fund, which has cornerstone investors CCLA and BEIS, is targeting to reach £100 million fund size by November 2021.

The fund’s first venture investment in Piclo will support Piclo’s work to accelerate the decarbonisation of electricity grids and the company’s future growth in UK and international markets.  Beverley Gower-Jones, Managing Partner of the Clean Growth Fund, will join the board of Piclo following this transaction.

HMT were mandated to support Piclo’s founders and management on their Series A fundraise

James Johnston, CEO and co-founder of Piclo commented:

James (Thomas) has been a trusted adviser and key part of the senior management team throughout our fundraising and his passion and enthusiasm to identify the right funder and secure the best terms has been unwavering throughout. We have enjoyed working with him and the team at HMT and look forward to continuing the relationship. I would thoroughly endorse James and HMT for anyone seeking to raise funding.”

James Thomas, Partner at HMT commented:

We have thoroughly enjoyed working with James (Johnston) and the team at Piclo and are really pleased at the conclusion of the deal with Clean Growth Fund. I think there is a super fit between all parties in terms of their global ambitions for the business and developing a global marketplace for energy flexibility that will be a key enabler in the ambition of achieving a net-zero world. James has ambitious plans for the Piclo Flex marketplace and if anyone can deliver on those, then Piclo can.”



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