Moixa Technology is hoping to raise up to £20 million by the end of the year to fund its expansion into Europe, and has recently gained investment from three big beasts from the UK energy sector.
The energy storage company has attracted finance from Sam Laidlaw, a stalwart of the oil and gas industry and former chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica; Ian Marchant, a past CEO of big six utility SSE; and Brian Count, who served as chief executive of Innogy before it was bought by RWE.
According to Moixa’s chief executive Simon Daniel, some of the funding has already been released this year with further tranches to be raised in the autumn and again before Christmas to reach a total of between £10-20 million. This will partly be through asset funding to support lease financing, which Daniel says could see the company raise anywhere within the range of investment provided.
The amount is dependent on how much asset finance is available to the company, which will be predominantly for the UK, while equity funding will be used to expand the company’s presence in Europe.
Speaking to sister title Solar Power Portal earlier yesterday, he explained: “What we're doing with the overall funding is expanding into Europe, we're expanding and supporting some of our deals with finance and utility support.
“The projects are there, it depends how some of them land but they're across large scale social housing and lease finance to end private customers and some utility-related deals. It's a mixture, there's quite a growing pipeline and [a lot of] market activity at the moment.”
He added that the new investment marks the largest supporting asset finance for storage, claiming that the market is moving very quickly as investors become rapidly drawn to the potential of energy storage.
“Globally there's a lot of funding going into this kind of preposition of a storage platform. The finance is going in slightly different ways but there's hundreds of millions of pounds going into this kind of thing, predominantly offshore as the international investors and corporate utility investors understand storage as a managed service to customers,” Daniel said.
All three of Moixa’s new investors have a long history in the energy sector but are now backing the decentralised energy technology after years working across conventional energy generation.
Daniel says this is type of investment from high net wealth (HNW) individuals is symptomatic of the types of sources new funding comes from in the storage market, with many larger investor groups yet to grasp the opportunities presented by energy storage. Instead, those with experience in the utility sector are becoming more and more aware of the potential in the market.
“It's not a country specific thing it's more recognising storage is becoming very critical to the future utility model and therefore people who are attached to utilities, i.e. people who used to run them or people running corporate funds within the utilities or looking at where the utilities are going to or where solar goes to, are all cognisant of the role of storage and managing intermittency, new business models, aggregated grid services,” he explained..
“It’s really a symptom that people who are in the sector know that storage is really disruptive and it's more useful for us to have someone who's been in the sector.”
Daniel added that Moixa are also in discussion with “most major utility corporate funds” already active in the residential storage market in the UK, Europe, the US and Japan.