Santander Asset Management (Santander AM) and EIT InnoEnergy, the innovation engine for sustainable energy, have announced an agreement to join forces to accelerate the energy transition and address Europe’s energy security and price crisis by funnelling venture capital into the continent’s most promising climate tech start-ups from EIT InnoEnergy portfolio.
The new climate tech fund will provide private banking and institutional investors with the means to invest in early-stage companies making a tangible impact on the energy trilemma – making energy affordable, available and sustainable. The investees will primarily be drawn from EIT InnoEnergy’s existing portfolio of companies spanning sectors as diverse as the circular economy, renewable energies, energy storage and efficiency, transport and mobility, smart buildings, cities and grid, and hydrogen.
Santander AM will be the portfolio manager of the fund. Banco Santander is expected to be an anchor investor, and EIT InnoEnergy is expected to co-invest in the new rounds of the start-ups and will continue bringing them added value services to de-risk and accelerate the business cases, leveraging its trusted innovation ecosystem.
The initiative will be led by a complementary team formed by Santiago Gil, Ex-Head of VC at Enagas; Giovanni Bologna, who recently joined Santander AM from VC fund Athos; and Jordi López, Ex-Head of Business Creation at EIT InnoEnergy and now fully dedicated to this joint venture.
Elena Bou, Innovation Director, EIT InnoEnergy, says, “This new fund will complement and strengthen our existing innovation ecosystem and it will facilitate the rapid allocation of capital to accelerate speed to market for game-changing climate tech innovations. It is a clear win-to-win situation not only for our 180+ innovative companies but also for the Fund. Having a direct access to InnoEnergy’s portfolio provides the fund with a pipeline which will be key for a faster deployment of vehicles´ committed capital even more considering the great appetite for this type of assets.”
Borja Diaz-Llanos, Head of Alternative Investments at Santander AM adds, “This is a further step in our commitment to fighting climate change as part of our involvement in the global Net Zero Asset Managers group. Innovation is critical to helping achieve net zero by 2050. With this initiative we aim to provide additional capital to many of the start-ups with the greatest emissions-reducing potential.”
The fund is expected to be compliant with Article 8 under SFDR regulation, and regulatory documents have already been filed with, and are being validated by the Spanish regulator, CNMV.