Chrysalix is pleased to announce that four of our portfolio companies have just raised more than CAD$70 Million in venture funding to support their commercialization of breakthrough innovations in industrial technology. GaN Systems, General Fusion, MineSense Technologies and Enbala Power Networks all raised major funding rounds in the last three months.
Chrysalix has long pursued a strategy of finding and supporting companies capable of realizing step change innovations in energy intensity and resource productivity in the world’s largest industries. Our portfolio companies are increasingly addressing the greatest energy challenges facing society, which we believe represent the greatest economic opportunities of a generation.
While the diversity of technologies and markets is considerable, collectively they represent the new wave of energy innovation taking hold. Large mature resource intensive industries like mining, power generation, utility management and transportation are in the process of being profoundly affected by the exponential cost and performance curves being realized in cloud computing, wireless connectivity, sensors, simulation, machine learning and advanced materials.
A key to the success of these four companies has been leveraging state of the art technology from adjacent industries to create new intelligent systems. The results are huge performance and cost advantages driving value for their customers.
Enbala and MineSense are clear examples of the power of applying low cost sensors and connectivity combined with powerful algorithms to create intelligent automation and control.
Enbala’s distributed energy resource management solutions enable the creation of “virtual storage”, balancing the grid through real time intelligent control of large loads on the grid.
MineSense “turns rocks into data” enabling never before seen productivity improvements in mining operations. Its innovative sensor-based technology has the potential to cut the costs of mining and mineral processing by up to 25% and enhance revenues by up to 50%.
GaN Systems has leveraged the rapid cost reduction and commoditization of GaN on Silicon wafers originally developed for mobile phone radio frequency antennas and LEDs. They have combined these low cost, high performance semiconductor innovations with completely new and patented power electronics designs enabling 75% reductions in the size and weight of power electronics, at far higher efficiency and lower cost.
General Fusion has harnessed powerful computing power and low cost digital servo controls combined with massive new simulation capabilities to realize fusion power systems that were contemplated but thought impossible to be put into practice before these technologies were brought to bear.
Innovations like these require in depth understanding of the underlying industries and their challenges, intimate knowledge of the state of the art technologies, their cost and performance curves, and how they can be leveraged in new applications. Lastly, they require great doses of creativity, new novel perspective, and the passion and dedication of great entrepreneurs.
The results will be a more efficient and flexible grid, more metal from far less processed rock and energy, and electric vehicles with longer range, higher performance and lower cost. (Also more efficient data centers, solar inverters, industrial motors, and consumer electronics.) With General Fusion, the ultimate prize is hopefully an end to the world’s dependence on fossil fuels for electricity production.
Coincidentally, all of these companies happen to be based in Canada but their impact is clearly global, as are their customers and partners. These financings help illustrate the global investment appetite for truly disruptive technologies that can transform large markets. New investors leading these rounds included Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the sovereign wealth fund of Malaysia, Tsing Capital out of Beijing, and the global energy giant General Electric.
For Chrysalix, these financings help cement our place as the most active venture capital fund in energy technology as ranked by Bloomberg New Energy Finance in the first quarter of 2015. For the companies, they provide large new injections of capital to support their expansion and next major milestones. For our Limited Partners these financings realize a major de-risking of the portfolio and we believe will enable significant value creation in the fund over the next 12-24 months. For our companies’ customers and partners, we hope to see great progress and acceleration of the commercialization of these solutions, delivering greater profit and lower energy demand.
Chrysalix would like to congratulate the management teams at these four companies and we look forward to continued partnership towards realizing their success.