Clir Renewables (Clir), a company dedicated to maximizing project returns from renewable energy assets today announces the closing of its CAD$27 million Series B funding round, which was co-led by Longbow Capital Inc. and ArcTern Ventures, and included, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), BDC Capital, Active Impact Investments and Tokio Marine HCC.
Since the business was founded in 2017, Clir has provided critical technology to support asset owners of renewable energy assets in 11 countries via its AI-driven monitoring and optimization platform. Clir’s existing customer base collectively own more than 10% of the global installed wind and solar capacity.
This latest round will allow Clir to further develop ‘smart’ products, utilizing industry-wide data to evaluate technical and financial risk with more accuracy, enabling improved contractual and financing terms for owners and investors.
Additionally, this round will enable the firm to accelerate Clir’s growth within the existing European and North American markets, as well as grow its presence in Latin America, Africa and Asia-Pacific.
2021 has been characterized by record investment in renewable energy projects and ‘green’ services. This deal demonstrates that for many firms these investments are guided by a desire to take a lead in driving the success of clean energy worldwide. As such, these stakeholders are looking to bring value beyond capital to technology firms such as Clir, the likes of which will be critical to supporting a successful, efficient energy transition.
Gareth Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Clir, said: “We are very pleased to be able to partner with some of the world’s leading energy and technology investors. Technology and data will be at the core of the effective growth of renewables, with comprehensive operational and environmental data increasingly defining the full asset lifecycle, from development and financing to asset optimization, M&A, insurance and repowering. With the potential for such wide-reaching impacts on every aspect of a renewable asset’s success, it’s critical that data is ‘done right’ and the subsequent analysis communicated effectively every time.”
“We are delighted that our investors want to bring more than just capital to Clir by acting as strategic partners and customers of the business. This is the best possible endorsement of our technology and the gains the platform helps asset owners to achieve.”
Tyson Birchall, Managing Director of Longbow Capital Inc, explained: “Longbow’s mission is to support companies that take an innovative approach to bringing energy to the world in the most efficient, cost effective and environmentally responsible manner. Clir mirrors this mission completely, and Gareth and the team have demonstrated that they have the skills, experience and motivation to become a driving force behind the energy transition while building value for their shareholders.”
Added Tom Rand, Managing Partner of ArcTern Ventures: “As the renewable energy industry builds sufficient scale to reduce climate risk, Clir’s technology enables critical efficiencies across that infrastructure. They cut their teeth with operational efficiency, of course, but now can extend value across the capital stacks associated with that scale of infrastructure.”
Bruce Hogg, Managing Director, Head of the Sustainable Energy Group, CPP Investments, commented: “Clir is fast becoming a critical Canadian player in the renewables space and this investment is a strong fit within our innovation, technology and services strategy in our newly formed Sustainable Energy Group. Clir’s existing and emerging capabilities provide a powerful solution for renewable energy optimization. We are already witnessing the impact of Clir's technology first-hand in the performance of existing wind assets within our portfolio.”
Cheri Corbett, Director, Cleantech Practice at BDC Capital stated: “We are thrilled to support Clir, a highly innovative Canadian company with software focused on the optimization of renewable energy assets. We are glad that our financial support will enable the company’s experienced management team realize their ambitious and sustainable growth plan.”
Susan Rivera, Chief Executive Officer, Tokio Marine HCC, added: “Clir’s analytics are proven to be unmatched in the renewables market. We see the team and their platform as invaluable for establishing a complete, real asset data-led approach to risk management. This investment builds upon our recent acquisition of GCube Insurance Services, the leading underwriter for renewable energy projects. Furthermore, this investment aligns with our environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals of funding opportunities in the renewable energy space; promoting clean energy transition; and supporting businesses in renewable energy project development and operations.”
“As one of Clir’s earliest institutional investors, we have gotten to know the team very well over the years,” said Mike Winterfield, Managing Partner of Active Impact Investments. “Gareth has always been very purposeful about where he wants to go and there’s no doubt he has the tenacity to get there. The Clir team are total experts in their space, and their ability to expand within their massive client base is a strong signal of the value they continue to provide. Having placed senior people on several continents, the company is now making a truly global impact on the clean energy transition we’re seeing around the world.”
Clir’s mission is to maximise renewable energy project financial returns by providing actionable insights on technical performance and risk. The cloud-based AI platform provides asset managers and owners with tools to maximize annual energy production and provide clarity on renewable asset performance.
Clir’s proprietary algorithm cleans and analyzes ingested data, providing actionable insights. Founded in early 2017, the company now supports over 10 GW of assets worldwide with clients typically seeing increases of up to [5%] in Annual Energy Production in the first year.
For more information, visit: www.clir.eco
About Longbow Capital Inc.
Longbow Capital is a growth focused private equity manager that was founded in 1997 and currently manages approximately $650 million of capital. Longbow is currently investing out of Longbow Capital Fund 23, which is dedicated to investments in the energy and power market that will benefit from the energy transition. Longbow maintains a simple, disciplined investment methodology and acts as a long-term partner and as an engaged shareholder in a small number of high-growth companies.
About ArcTern Ventures
ArcTern Ventures is a venture capital firm obsessed with helping solve the climate crisis and rethinking sustainability. ArcTern, based in Toronto with offices in Oslo and San Francisco, invests globally in breakthrough technology companies solving climate change and sustainability - we call it #earthtech. The fund was founded on the premise that accelerating the transition to a carbon-neutral economy will disrupt all industries and present an unprecedented opportunity for outsized financial returns. Solving our planet's biggest problems will lead to big rewards—for companies, their investors, and of course, Mother Earth.
About CPP Investments
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments™) is a professional investment management organization that manages the Fund in the best interest of the more than 20 million contributors and beneficiaries of the Canada Pension Plan. In order to build diversified portfolios of assets, investments are made around the world in public equities, private equities, real estate, infrastructure and fixed income. Headquartered in Toronto, with offices in Hong Kong, London, Luxembourg, Mumbai, New York City, San Francisco, São Paulo and Sydney, CPP Investments is governed and managed independently of the Canada Pension Plan and at arm’s length from governments. At March 31, 2021, the Fund totalled C$497.2 billion. For more information, please visit www.cppinvestments.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.
About BDC Capital
BDC Capital is the investment arm of BDC, the bank for Canadian entrepreneurs. With over $3 billion under management, BDC Capital serves as a strategic partner to the country's most innovative firms. It offers businesses a full spectrum of capital, from seed investments to growth equity, supporting Canadian entrepreneurs who have the ambition to stand out on the world stage. Visit bdc.ca/capital.
About Tokio Marine HCC
Tokio Marine HCC is a member of the Tokio Marine Group, a premier global company founded in 1879 with a market capitalization of $33 billion as of March 31, 2021. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Tokio Marine HCC is a leading specialty insurance group with offices in the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Continental Europe. Tokio Marine HCC’s major domestic insurance companies have financial strength ratings of “A+ (Strong)” from S&P Global Ratings, “A++ (Superior)” from A.M. Best, and “AA- (Very Strong)” from Fitch Ratings; its major international insurance companies have financial strength ratings of “A+ (Strong)” from S&P Global Ratings. Tokio Marine HCC is the marketing name used to describe the affiliated companies under the common ownership of HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc., a Delaware-incorporated insurance holding company. For more information about Tokio Marine HCC, please visit www.tokiomarinehcc.com.
About Active Impact Investments
Active Impact Investments is a Certified BCorp based in Vancouver, BC, whose mission is to support environmental sustainability through profitable investment. With two limited partnership funds with over $50M in assets under management, the venture capital firm provides funds and talent to accelerate the growth of early-stage climate tech companies with $200K to $3M in revenue and significant growth potential. Active Impact’s portfolio includes and is seeking some of the most successful startups in North America that are capable of achieving venture scale and becoming extremely profitable while solving the most urgent environmental issues. For more information, including a full list of portfolio companies, visit activeimpactinvestments.com or follow @active_impact on Twitter and LinkedIn.