1. At what stage do you invest?
As an early stage investor, we typically invest in seed and series A funding rounds (with possibility for future follow-ons in later rounds). While our investment usually happens before the series B, we can make exceptions if we believe the company is a perfect fit and we can continue to add value.
2. When is the right time to approach you about investing?
Approaches from companies, founders and other investors are always welcome. Being a seed and series A investor, we look for companies with a near market ready product.
3. I already have some business angels invested in my company - does that mean EDP Ventures won’t invest?
We are big fans of co-investments!
Typically, we like to invest in a consortium that might be composed of Business Angels, Venture Capital Funds and other Corporate Venture Capital Funds and we use our own network to promote our portfolio companies from an investment and commercial perspective.
However, there should be a purpose beyond money in each investor on your cap table.
4. What is your average ticket size?
Our investment ticket can go anywhere from € 0.5M to €2.0M in either equity or convertible loan format and we typically consider follow-on financing, which means that we can invest more capital across later stages of the company.
In some cases, we will consider tickets around €100k, in convertible loan format, to fund proofs of concept (PoC) with EDP Group business units. Successful pilot projects frequently result in a seed round where we act as lead investor of a consortium.
5. Will you always invest in the subsequent financing rounds of your seed investments?
No, we will analyze it case by case. But we will always support your company’s fundraising across our wide network of investors.
6. How much money should I raise?
There is no general answer to this question as it depends on various criteria such as the stage your company is in and how capital intense a specific business model may turn out. Having said that, experience shows us that companies will always need more funds than what they project and therefore we tend to prefer slightly larger seed and series A rounds.
7. How many investments do you make?
We make around 5-8 seed and series A investments per year.
8. Do you have an industry or sector focus?
YES! We invest in a broad range of technologies with a common characteristic, affecting the energy sector, either by improving assets availability or by impacting the life of retail energy clients (please see our investment areas).
Additionally, while most of our portfolio companies have a B2B marketing model, we are agnostic and will also analyze companies with a B2C model.
9. What are your investment criteria?
TEAM! The founders/management team are the most important factor in our decision-making process. We must believe that the team can solve the extremely hard problems that the company aims to address.
Of course, we also look at the market, the problem to be solved and the technology.
10. Where do you invest?
We invest all over the world. Our investment teams are based in Lisbon and São Paulo!
11. What is your investment process and how long does it take?
Again, it depends but as a rule of thumb it will take one to two months to have a term sheet signed and an additional two to three more to close the funding round.
The process usually starts with an initial meeting or call, moving into a second or third meeting/call with a different set of people from our investment team, technology experts and business units.
After having internal validation, we want to test! It’s common for us to test the technology, promoting the development of a PoC (proof of concept) with EDP Group business units, not only to get a better sense of the company, but also because, as a strategic investor, we aim to not only be the investor, but also a client for our startups.
Based on the results coming out of the PoC, together with the overall feedback from the business units we will move forward in presenting your company to our investment committee to get a term sheet approved.
12. How are you different from other VCs?
We invest our money, time, network of contacts and technological expertise to take your company to the next level.
EDP Ventures has developed an extensive and strong network of partners from industry to institutional investors.
We remain focused on the energy sector and in 5 investment areas (please see our investment areas) where we have developed extensive technological know-how and we have the commitment of EDP Group business units to support our portfolio company internally which we believe is a jumpstart for better and faster market adoption.
13. What is EDP?
EDP is a multinational, vertically integrated utility company. Throughout its 40 years of history, it has been building a relevant presence in the world energy scene, being present in 14 countries, in 4 continents.
The company has around 12.000 employees and is present throughout the electricity value chain and in the gas commercialization activity. It is the 4rd largest wind farm operator in the world with almost 70% of its energy being produced from renewable resources. EDP provides electricity to almost 10 million customers.
EDP joined Euronext Lisbon in 1997 and EDP Brasil and EDP Renewables are also listed companies. Sustainability is part of EDP’s DNA and we are a member of Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
14. What is the difference between EDP Starter and EDP Ventures?
EDP Starter is global community of startups, selected among the best scouted in acceleration programs, competitions, conferences and summits, currently developing pilots or working with the EDP Group
EDP Starter offers a 1 to 3 year contract, providing startups with more than €300K in perks, such as co-working space, 3rd party service providers and corporate partners, pocket money and mentors.
Although we remain independent, due to our proximity and close relation, several companies supported by EDP Starter are invested by EDP Ventures.
15. What is the Free Electrons program and how can I apply?
Free Electrons is a global energy startup accelerator program that connects the world's most promising startups with leading utility companies, such as EDP. The program is an opportunity for late stage energy startups to gain access to utility customers that can help them scale and expand into new markets around the world.
The programs runs on an annual basis with applications typically open between January and March.