Piclo wins Clean Growth Fund support
The government-backed Clean Growth Fund has made its first venture capital investment, taking a minority stake in GAS portfolio company, Piclo, whose CEO, James Johnston is pictured.
The following was reported in The Times (UK) on 14th December 2020
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The £40 million fund is investing £1.5 million in Piclo, which was founded in 2013 and is now chaired by Volker Beckers, who once led the supplier Npower.
Piclo operates an online marketplace that enables companies to compete to provide "flexible" power supply-and-demand services to network operators such as National Grid.
As Britain develops more intermittent power sources such as wind and solar farms, network companies increasingly need flexible options that can help balance out peaks and troughs in supply without relying on polluting coal or gas power plants.
A growing number of companies are offering these services, such as operating big batteries, co-ordinating industrial customers that can reduce their demand at times when supplies are scarce, or managing smart electric vehicle charging.
Beverley Gower-Jones, managing partner of the Clean Growth Fund, said Piclo offered an "auction house" through which such companies could offer their services.
The Clean Growth Fund was launched in May with half of its investment from the government and half from CCLA, which manages investments for charities and the public sector. It had hundreds of applications for funding and Ms Gower-Jones said it was close to announcing its second investment.
She said it selected opportunities from across the power, building, transport, industry and waste sectors based on the potential scale of the greenhouse gas savings that could be delivered.
Kwasi Kwarteng, the energy minister, said "We look forward to seeing more support like this for clean growth start-ups to help us drive a green and resilient economic recovery right across the UK."