The Clean Energy Innovation Fund further strengthened its position as Australia’s largest dedicated cleantech investor. The portfolio increased to almost $70 million in commitments, and achieved leverage of $8 for each $1 of CEFC finance committed in 2018–19, an encouraging sign of investor interest in early stage cleantech companies.
The Innovation Fund is a specialist financier, with access to $200 million in capital to invest in early stage innovative clean energy companies. It focuses on technologies and businesses that have passed beyond the research and development stage and which can benefit from early stage seed or growth capital to help them progress to the next stage of their development.
The Fund welcomed the appointment of John Clifford as Chair of its Investment Committee in 2018–19. Mr Clifford has had a long and distinguished career investing in and growing energy technology companies globally.
Operating with the assistance of ARENA, the Innovation Fund made six investments in the year, adding two companies to its portfolio and extending its commitment to four existing portfolio companies:
- $4.0 million equity investment in award-winning Australian manufacturer Omni Tanker, which produces innovative carbon fibre tank containers, and is expanding to meet international demand.
- $1.8 million equity investment in Morse Micro to help it take its Australian-designed Wi-Fi HaLow silicon chips to mass production. The chips have an extended range and lower power consumption.
- Increased investment commitments to support the ongoing growth and expansion of four existing portfolio companies: Relectrify, Redback Technologies, Carbon Revolution and Zen Ecosystems.
Figure 10: Clean Energy Innovation Fund
* refers to impact of CEFC direct finance only