PERSEO: INTERNATIONAL STARTUP PROGRAM
More than 10 years innovating with startups
Iberdrola's international programme for startups - PERSEO aims to facilitate Iberdrola's access to the technologies of the future and to promote the creation and development of a global and dynamic ecosystem of technology companies and entrepreneurs in the electricity sector. To do this, to the 70 million euros allocated to the initiative, another 40 million are now added aimed to launch — through its Perseo Venture Builder unit — innovative industrial firms working in new areas of electrification and in difficult-to-decarbonise sectors.
Total budget: 110 million euros
70 million euros
invested in startups around the world
to create and invest in companies that support electrification and difficult-to-decarbonise sectors
3,000 emerging companies
in our ecosystem (increasing at a rate of 300 per year)
8 startups in our portfolio
(+25 real tests/year as a first step to establishing a partnership)
INNOVATION TO IMPROVE SUSTAINABILITY IN THE ENERGY SECTOR
Since it was created in 2008, PERSEO has invested €70 million in startups that develop technologies and innovative business models, focusing on those that make it possible to improve sustainability in the energy sector through increased electrification and decarbonisation of the economy.
The programme has focused its efforts on analysing global business and technology collaboration opportunities with startups and emerging companies, analysing 300 companies every year and creating an ecosystem made up of almost 3,000 entrepreneurial companies. This investment instrument now has a portfolio of eight companies.
Through PERSEO, Iberdrola conducts more than 25 real tests every year with technologies, which are an initial step to establishing a business relationship or partnership with the startups. Additionally, in the last two years the group has launched a total of nine challenges in which 700 start-ups have taken part.
Beyond the financial contribution, PERSEO's support for these companies has been key in defining their product and business model by providing them with its knowledge and access to Iberdrola's market. The work done with the startups has also served as a technological antenna to find out where is sector is headed.
PERSEO VENTURE BUILDER: NEW UNIT FOR SUPPORTING THE ENERGY TRANSITION
Within PERSEO, Iberdrola group has launched Perseo Venture Builder, a new unit through which €40 million will be invested in supporting and creating new businesses from scratch that will support electrification — in principle, these will focus on areas such as recycling and circular economy — and difficult-to-decarbonise sectors such as industrial heat and heavy transport.
The short-term aim of the initiative consists of developing six or seven lines of action in the next five years, with which it will stimulate industrial sectors with great potential for growth and drive economic and social revitalisation.
The first project to emerge is Iberlyzer, which is destined to become the first large-scale electrolyser supplier in Spain. The company will start operating next year and is expected to supply more than 200 MW of electrolysers in 2023, which will be used in the second project of the alliance between Iberdrola and Fertiberia to produce green hydrogen.
Perseo Venture Builder's activities will focus on creating innovative companies in collaboration with other technology and industrial groups and will also entail public-private collaboration. Its main area of influence is Spain, although it does not rule out promoting activities in other markets where Iberdrola operates.
OBJECTIVES OF THE PERSEO START-UPS PROGRAMME
WHAT DOES IBERDROLA OFFER THROUGH PERSEO?
Access to Iberdrola's ecosystem
- Access to market know-how and key technologies
- A single contact point
- Access to large volumes of data
- Testing technology in a real environment
- 1 to 5 million euros
- Co-investment with venture capital companies and funds
MAIN AREAS OF INTEREST
Smart solutions for residential, commercial and industrial customers
- Devices for smart homes/buildings
- Energy management platforms
- Customer loyalty tools
- Electric heating, etc.
Solutions for the power grid of the future
- Technologies for smart grids
- Advanced automation
- Grid resilience technologies
- Reliability and efficiency, etc.
Management of distributed energy resources
- Battery control technologies
- Thermal electric power
Renewable energy integration technologies
- Flexibility platforms
- Energy storage
Advanced operation and maintenance technologies
- Platforms based on data
- On-line supervision
- Augmented Reality, etc.
Electric mobility solutions
- Charging infrastructure
- Mobility platform
COMPETITIONS FOR STARTUPS
With PERSEO, Iberdrola group promotes different Startup Challenges to find innovative solutions that enable its operation to be improved and its environmental footprint to be minimised. The most recent is the Agrovoltaics challenge, which seeks to combine photovoltaic plants with agricultural and livestock uses in a sustainable way.
Also in force is the Synchronism in Distribution Grids challenge, which seeks innovative solutions that promote voltage synchronisation measurement systems between remote points, adapted to the needs of the distribution grid.
Startup Challenges launched to date by Iberdrola are:
Inspection of critical systems at substations
With this challenge, the company sought to find competitive and innovative solutions to improve and simplify assembly in substations.
Emission-free Industrial Heat Challenge
This challenge seeked competitive and innovative solutions that would help decarbonize industrial processes.
Optimization of medium and low voltage networks
Its objective was to find solutions based on power electronics to optimize medium and low voltage networks, improving their flexibility.
Wind turbine monitoring
With this challenge, we wanted to improve the monitoring systems on wind farms, especially on the older ones.
Bird protection on electricity grids
Iberdrola was seeking innovative solutions that would allow coexistence between overhead lines and the surrounding fauna and flora.
Marine mammal protection
With this challenge, the company aimed to find technologies to minimise the impact that offshore wind farms may have on local marine mammals.
Collaborative electric charge solutions
The challenge was to find solutions for users of electric vehicles looking to share a charging point or make use of other people's charging points.
POSITIVE+ ENERGY: INNOVATION AGAINST COVID-19
Iberdrola took part, along with other companies of the energy sector, in the Positive+ Energy initiative to alleviate the economic and social impact of the coronavirus through innovation. In just 13 days, the call made to startups and scaleups received 396 proposals — among them, 14 were selected — related to environmental sustainability, mobility, social impact, digitalisation, telecommunications and 4.0, always from the standpoint of energy.
WHICH STARTUPS ARE WE INVESTING IN?
Iberdrola is investing in electric vehicle charging startup Wallbox.
Through the PERSEO program, Iberdrola has invested in Wallbox, a smart electric vehicle charging company based in Barcelona. This is yet another move to support sustainable mobility, which will be a pivotal sector for the post-COVID-19 recovery and a basic requirement for achieving a low-carbon economy. What's more, supporting and committing to Wallbox will boost Iberdrola's strategy to drive zero-emissions transport by improving electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
In February, Wallbox completed a financing round of 33 million euros to support its international growth. The funds will be used to open offices in new markets, expand manufacturing and R&D facilities and hire more than 400 employees.
ACHIEVEMENTS AND AWARDS
Thanks to its International Startup Program, Iberdrola has received an award for the fourth consecutive year in the Corporate Startup Stars Awards as one of the 25 most active companies in open innovation, and it is the only Spanish utility included in the ranking. These annual awards, in which the startups designate the companies that are doing the most to support this type of entrepreneurship, are part of the Start-up Europe Partnership (SEP) initiative by the European Commission, which has been presenting these awards since 2016. In 2020, the awards expanded to worldwide, thanks to the partnership with the International Chamber of Commerce and the consultancy Mind the Bridge.