Here’s a selection of the exciting investments made into the Koolen Industries group companies in 2023.
Chief Investment Officer
"2023 was an interesting year from an investment perspective. Marked by uncertainty, varied trends unfolded globally and across different asset classes. The European dealmaking scene experienced a slowdown, notably in venture capital, contrasting with the resilience of private equity. Venture capital deal values showed a substantial decline, while private equity deals remained robust, finishing slightly below 2022 benchmarks. It's crucial to consider these figures in the context of elevated activity in 2021 and 2022, framing 2023 as a correction rather than a collapse in private capital. This nuanced perspective highlights the sector's resilience, framing observed corrections as a natural ebb and flow.
Despite obstacles, a temporary pause in interest rate hikes suggests positive developments, hinting at improved market sentiment and potential increased activity as debt costs stabilize.", according to Ahmed Afifi, Chief Investment Officer at Koolen Industries
InnoEnergy - 140 Million
EIT InnoEnergy raised €140 million to support 'climate-tech' innovations for scaling up and reducing CO2 emissions. CEO Jacob Ruiter emphasizes the investment's four-fold strategy: reinforcing existing portfolios, attracting new companies, setting up ventures in promising markets, and leveraging opportunities in the US due to the Inflation Reduction Act.
With over 200 companies, including battery developers Northvolt and Freyr and the Vulcan lithium mining company, expected to generate €110 billion in revenue by 2030 and save 2.1 gigatons of CO2, EIT InnoEnergy attracts investments from major players.
Kees Koolen, CEO of Koolen Industries, states: “We will continue our collaboration to further accelerate the energy transition by investing early in crucial innovations. This way, we maximize value while helping start-ups expedite their path to commercial success.”
Kraftblock - 20 Million
Kraftblock secured 20 million in series B funding. The funds will help Kraftblock scale its sustainable high-temperature energy storage systems. "We've created a great opportunity to pursue our goal of having a big impact on reducing carbon emissions," says CEO and co-founder Dr Martin Schichtel.
With its patented and sustainable thermal energy storage technology, Kraftblock facilitates energy-intensive industry clients whose energy consumption is very difficult to decarbonize. These include steel, cement, glass and metal processing plants. Kraftblock's storage system enables industrial players not only to use renewable energy from wind and solar by storing it as heat up to 1,300°C, but also to recycle waste heat, for example from blast furnaces or flare gases, leading to significantly higher overall energy efficiency.
"Sustainable alternatives for high-temperature thermal storage are of paramount importance to realize the energy transition. Kraftblock has a unique solution that allows us to help customers in energy-intensive industries reduce their CO2 emissions." said Kees Koolen, founder and CEO of Koolen Industries
Battolyser - 40 Million
Battolyser Systems signed €40 million financing agreement with European Investment Bank, aimed at commercialising and scaling production capacity of its Battolyser® product range.
The Battolyser® technology provides a fully flexible, efficient and scalable integrated battery and electrolyser solution: as an electrolyser, it produces affordable green hydrogen when power prices are beneficial. As a battery, it provides clean back-up power and offers trading opportunities when grid-connected. Combined it helps to integrate renewable energy sources such as solar and wind into the net-zero energy system of the future.
The financing will enable the company to scale its production facility in Rotterdam towards mass production of its combined electricity storage and electrolyser stack system. The technology is currently operational at the RWE Magnum power plant and commercial deployment is scheduled for 2024.
Battolyser Systems CEO Mattijs Slee said: "To fulfill the Green Deal and deliver on net zero we need scalable hydrogen solutions for the entire range of industry. Sustainable, low-cost, truly green hydrogen, grid-friendly and ’made in Europe’ — Battolyser Systems delivers all of this."
SKOON - 5 Million
SKOON Energy secured €5 million in Series A funding. The new funding enables Skoon to grow its team, advance the development of its software platform, and expand into new global markets.
Founded in 2017, Skoon Energy aims to reshape on-site energy supply by connecting users of traditional fossil fuel-powered generators with suppliers of clean mobile energy systems, such as batteries, hydrogen, and solar generators. The company’s AI-powered software platform enables customers to select the best energy system for their specific needs, actively monitor their energy usage, and report on carbon savings with the click of a button.
By facilitating both supply and demand, Skoon enables cost-effective, zero-emission energy for applications such as construction sites, events, and on-site film production. Suppliers of Skoon’s clean energy systems benefit from increased asset utilization through its marketplace. Skoon’s software tools centralize financial and energy data, so it can be used to better manage their rental fleet.
“The energy market today is going through tremendous growth and rapid change, which is challenging for most companies to keep up with. Our years of experience replacing fossil fuel generators at project sites, such as construction and film sets have positioned Skoon perfectly to provide clean mobile energy solutions everywhere. This also means Skoon is ready to tackle grid congestion challenges at a large scale,” said Peter Paul van Voorst tot Voorst, founder and CEO of Skoon Energy.
Hardt Hyperloop - 12 Million
Hardt Hyperloop secured €12M of funding from key public and private investors. With this money, the Dutch startup will support the construction of the European Hyperloop Centre (EHC) and Hardt’s hyperloop test vehicle, paving the way for testing to begin in 2024.
The EHC, a 420-metre-long test facility with a lane switch, will enable Hardt to demonstrate all key hyperloop technologies and strengthen the company’s goal to lead in transforming future transportation with the hyperloop.
Founded by Tim Houter, Mars Geuze, Marinus van der Meijs, and Sascha Lamme in 2016, Hardt Hyperloop aims to build a worldwide hyperloop network that will make sustainable and speedy transportation accessible to everybody.
Ampcontrol - 10 Million
In a Series A funding round, Ampcontrol secured $10M to enable its next stage of growth. The round was led by The Westly Group with participation from existing investors AngelPad and Lorimer Ventures.
Ampcontrol has a leading AI-powered software solution for fleet operators. Since 2019, more than 20 fleet operators across the US, Europe, Latin America, and Africa use Ampcontrol’s software to ensure on-time departures, maintain low energy costs, and reduce EV charger downtime.
“We are thrilled to announce the addition of The Westly Group to our team, as one of the early investors in Tesla and other electrification companies, they fully embrace our vision for Ampcontrol,” said Ampcontrol CEO and Founder Joachim Lohse.