The PGNiG Group has established a venture capital vehicle to finance innovative energy projects, looking to invest approximately PLN 100m over the next six years.
‘The establishment of PGNiG Ventures was only natural for our Group to step up its innovation-oriented activities, including cooperation with start-ups. We started almost three years ago by setting up InnVento, an incubator for fledgling start-ups. Next, we became involved in acceleration programmes for start-ups, which have resulted in pilot implementations of innovative solutions at some PGNiG Group companies. For the last few years, we have gained valuable knowledge and experience and now we are well placed to take our cooperation with start-ups to a new level. We are ready to take on the associated investment risk, which is why we decided to set up our own venture capital vehicle,’ said Łukasz Kroplewski, Vice President for Development at PGNiG S.A. ‘Alongside InnVento, which offers know-how and networking opportunities, PGNiG Ventures will be building a smart-money platform. Thanks to experience sharing and access to PGNiG’s expert knowledge, start-ups will gain a springboard for growth,’ added Mr Kroplewski.
In Poland, there are already many seed and pre-seed funds that provide early-stage finance to start-ups. Therefore, PGNiG Ventures is to invest in technology solutions in a phase of growth and expansion, which have already attracted the first customers, are generating revenue and need more financing. The vehicle will buy minority interests, the total value of investment in a single entity not to exceed PLN 15m. PGNiG Ventures will focus primarily on cleantech solutions.
‘We want to invest some PLN 30m over the next two years. It is possible that after this period, seen by us as a pilot phase, we will increase the vehicle’s capitalisation. By the end of this year, we will launch a scouting programme to identify target projects,’ said Małgorzata Piasecka, the PGNiG Ventures CEO.