Aiming to play a defining role in Europe’s energy transition, a new impact-driven venture has been launched: Junction. The fund is planning to invest a total of €100 million into green energy tech startups across Europe and has just closed an initial pot of €75 million.
Europe’s energy transition is at a critical point and big action needs to be taken to secure a more sustainable energy future for the continent. From transitioning to renewable energy sources to greentech which is facilitating that change, and then optimizing and enhancing how energy is consumed and distributed, the energy transition is also opening up a fresh wave of innovation.
It’s a transition that is vital to the future environmental and societal health of our planet, and it also will make Europe more energy independent and immune to global price fluctuations – issues which are currently impacting the lives of millions and creating anxiety ahead of the winter.
Startups from across the continent are proving instrumental in moving toward a renewable and more sustainable energy economy. Part of this is a commitment from investors and venture funds to supply the capital to keep innovation moving forward, allowing for tech developments to shape the future of energy.
Now, Europe has a new fund in the mix and it has a focus on investing in fast-growing European scaleups and SMEs that are playing a crucial role in the energy transition – Junction.
Founded in the summer of 2022 by a group of award-winning entrepreneurs, CEOs and investors with a long track record in the climate tech and energy sectors, Junction is a growth-equity fund planning to pump €100 million into energy innovation.
The minds behind the venture include REstore co-founder Pieter-Jan Mermans, former Inven partner Vincent Gregoir, the founder of green energy supplier Lampiris Bruno Vanderschueren and Dirk Dewals, who previously served on the Executive Committee of private equity firm GIMV. They all bring with them an extensive track record of building successful companies in countries like Germany, France, the UK and Japan.
The core team is accompanied by former tiko co-founder Sandra Trittin, ELIA Group CEO Chris Peeters and Tado CEO Toon Bouten, who are part of the advisory board.
Vincent Gregoir: “The transition towards net-zero should not be a problem, as it can be achieved with technologies that already exist today. Unfortunately, most German or European venture firms prefer to invest in early-stage start-ups in order to have a quick turnaround. However, if we want to succeed with the energy and climate transition, we need more funding into scale-ups and SMEs.”
Fueling the green transition
Junction was developed as a pan-European venture tackling a gaping issue: the lack of growth-stage funding which is hindering the acceleration of the needed energy transition.
The primary focus of the fund will be scaling and industrializing companies with investment ticket sizes ranging between €5m and €15 million. With its deep understanding of the intricacies of the energy system, the founders behind Junction are focused on identifying and supporting companies set to play a major role in the next stage of Europe’s energy market.
What makes this new fund special is that the focus on scaleups and growth-stage companies is coupled with deep knowledge and experience across the entire value chain. The fund’s extensive European-wide network will be leveraged to support the scaling and growth of all portfolio companies.
Pieter-Jan Mermans: “We’re not about early stage and we’re not about financial engineering. We are about a speedy transition and scaling technologies that provide a long-term impact. We know the entrepreneurial journey is a long and arduous one and have set out to accompany promising innovative companies through their ups and downs. Now is a critical moment in which many of these ventures can assert themselves as pillars of Europe’s sustainable energy future, we believe we can play an important role in making that happen.”
Further, as an article 9 fund, the firm puts capital to work consistent with the Paris Agreement on climate change, and it is strongly committed to the EU Green Deal and its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets.
Not only is Europe at a critical point in moving to sustainable energy sources for the sake of the continent itself, but it is also emerging as a global leader in bringing about the tech and innovation that is making it happen. This fund will become a piece of the puzzle in generating healthier, more sustainable and dependable energy sources and we are looking forward to seeing where the first investments go.