Communications giant Telefónica and German energy firm innogy have partnered for a UK-based, energy start-up incubator programme.
The ‘Scale-Up Hub’, which will be led by Telefónica’s innovation division Wayra UK and innogy Innovation Hub, is to grow small- and medium-sized businesses in the energy, urban solutions, customer experience and connected technologies sectors.
The duo said the programme represented a “significant international investment” in the UK’s technology and digital innovation sectors that stood to create jobs and growth.
Early additions to the programme include Enerbrain, which is developing a platform capable of improving the energy performance of buildings without smart technologies; EVezy, a company bringing to market an ‘all-inclusive’ EV subscription service with a rolling monthly contract and Omniflow, a wind and solar-powered smart energy platform that incorporates storage and Internet of Things connectivity.
Annemie Ress, MD at innogy Innovation Hub in the UK, said that innogy’s preliminary focus would be on businesses and technologies that had the potential to shape the future energy market.
“The UK is obviously a key market for our portfolio of start-ups and we are excited to partner with Wayra to give them the mentoring and networking opportunities that will help them reach their full commercial potential in the UK and beyond.”
Innogy’s Innovation Hub has so far supported more than 80 companies with teams in London, Silicon Valley, Berlin and Tel Aviv, with a portfolio now estimated to be worth around €150 million.
Wayra, meanwhile, has established an accelerator programme which supports around 70 companies each year and has helped raise more than US$237 million in third-party funding for start-ups.
“At Wayra, we scale start-ups. Partnering with innogy Innovation Hub is, therefore, a great fit for us, because this programme is focused on helping more mature start-ups to scale via Telefonica and innogy. I can’t want to begin,” Gary Stewart, director of Telefónica Open Future and Wayra UK, said.