INVESTING IN DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES
SET Ventures backs pioneering founders with capital, community and insights.
Since 2007, we have built our reputation as Europe’s leading
independent energy venture capital investor.
The need for sustainable energy solutions has never been more clear. SET invests in compelling ideas to create valuable companies. That is why we focus on digital technologies for a carbon-free energy system. Our investment thesis revolves around three fundamental beliefs:
Fossil fuel combustion for energy accounts for 73% of global GHG emissions. Business as usual is not an option. No one can continue to rely on fossil inputs with impunity as their stakeholders demand accountability for a pathway to net zero. Navigating this tidal wave of change is the biggest challenge of our generation, yet we are optimistic that entrepreneurs and investors working as partners can succeed to create solutions with lasting value and impact.
As long-time investors in this sector, we have learned that technology is rarely the bottleneck. Yes, there is a need for more cutting-edge research. But even more important are visionary products and services that spark the adoption curve of mass deployment in a distributed system. Winners are set apart by the way they challenge conventional wisdom, craft delightful solutions, and scale at breakneck speed.
It is a misconception that clean energy will be a one-for-one replacement of cheap fossil fuel by expensive renewables. This lineair approach ignores the near-zero margin cost of renewable energy and the vast opportunities for dynamic optimisation at all levels of the system. In a world of clean energy abundance, the value accrues at the digital layer that balances, orchestrates and leverages the physical infrastructure.
Energy is everywhere and everything is connected. Not just at a technical level, but more broadly in a future energy system that rewards all participants to balance what you give and what you get in a fair way. We exist to support the leaders of tomorrow with capital, community and insights to reach their ambition. For our society and our planet.
WHAT WE INVEST IN
We focus on innovation leaders that are transforming the energy system and pioneering the future of energy in distributed infrastructure, digital utilities, buildings, mobility and industry as well as relevant enabling technologies. We look for fast growing companies with strong digital DNA seeking (late) seed and Series A funding that can demonstrate market traction.
We are an investor with a strong focus on accelerating early growth. Typically, that would be a Series A round, but since not everyone has the same definition, we allow ourselves some flexibility towards late seed or a company that has already progressed further along that trajectory. We like to call that Series A (+/-).
We usually invest €2 to 4 million in rounds that range from €3 to 10 million. We reserve substantial follow-on capital to follow the winners and can deploy up to €15 million in a single portfolio company.
We like to lead or co-lead investment rounds. We can bring together a syndicate of like minded investors or can work together with relevant parties that you have identified. We like to be represented in a board and ensure the balance between investors and founders through an independent chairman with strong industry expertise.
Energy is everywhere: the energy transition breaks down barriers and cuts across all sectors. We invest in digital technologies that advance us towards a carbon neutral energy system. Check out this page to find out more.
We invest across all of Europe, with a concentration in North West (Netherlands, UK, DACH) as the region where we have seen the most digital energy innovations.
The honest answer is: it depends on your business. In a software company defined by ability to execute and momentum, we need to see product market fit and evidence of healthy sales economics. But we have also invested in companies with strong intellectual property with nothing more than a prototype backed by awesome customer demand.
We guide portfolio companies on their journey through our expertise and a strong community. We can help you tap into first class support in areas like business development, hiring and operational expertise. What is important: they are as passionate about the road to a carbon free future as we are!
We didn’t jump on climatetech as the latest trend only yesterday. Since 2007, we have been building our reputation as Europe’s leading independent energy venture capital investor. We understand this industry and bring our own experience of success and failures. We have the convinction and patience to be a trusted partner for determined entrepreneurs.
Please send your pitch deck to us here. We’ll try to respond within a few days whether we are the right investors for your company. Once we engage, we will schedule a series of meetings over the course of a few weeks to reach an initial conclusion and map out the full process that includes due diligence and legals.
Regardless of the paperwork, we are committed to respecting the confidentiality of the information you share with us. If you insist on executing a Non-Disclosure Agreement, we are willing to do so after we have established there is a realistic chance of us working together. That means you will have to share enough to get us excited!
To avoid undue legal reviews, we will only sign the SET standard NDA which is based on terms commonly accepted in the industry.
You have a deep drive and intrinsinc motivation to be an enterpreneur as well as a growth mindset that supports personal growth. We look for people that have demonstrated achievement and perseverence in business or other pursuits. As a leader, you are committed to building strong teams and to help others succeed.
Our mission is to advance a carbon-free energy system by backing pioneering founders with capital, community & insights to generate outsized financial and impact returns for limited partners and the planet. SET has made a commitment to transparent impact reporting to make this measurable.
Furthermore, the principals of SET Ventures have agreed to link their compensation to the achievement of impact outcomes, in close partnership with European Investment Fund.
That’s an unavoidable part of our job. We invest in less than 1% of the teams that we talk to. We have a narrow investment focus that allows us to be experts in what we do, but it means we pass on many interesting companies that fall outside. Plus, we also may be wrong in many cases. When we decline to participate, we try to give you as much insight in our thinking as we can. If you liked talking to us, please keep us updated on your progress.
RECENT NEWS FROM SET
SET VENTURES PROMOTES LEONIE MEKEL TO DIRECTOR
Amsterdam, 2 August, 2022 – SET Ventures, the Amsterdam-based venture capital firm focused on digital technologies for a carbon-free energy system, announced that Leonie Mekel has been promoted to Director of Finance & Operations. Leonie (38) is responsible for all financial and operational processes at SET and is involved in fundraising and policy outreach. SET is regulated as an alternative asset manager by the Dutch Authority for Financial Markets (AFM). As compliance officer, she ensures adherence to relevant regulatory, tax, and legal obligations and reporting requirements. She is dedicated to contributing to SET’s ambition to create a sustainable and carbon-free energy system. Since joining SET in 2016, Leonie has developed into a seasoned finance and operations expert. Previously, she worked at PwC as a tax advisor, with a specialization in financial markets. With a background in legal and tax and over 10 years of experience in the financial sector she […]
ETPA RAISES €5M BY SET VENTURES AND ABN AMRO
Amsterdam – 12 July – Energy Trading Platform Amsterdam B.V. (ETPA) announced that it has been awarded a license to operate as a pan-European intraday energy exchange. By making energy trading faster and cheaper, ETPA’s intraday trading platform contributes to a flexible energy system that can absorb more energy from renewable sources. With the license, the company can expand its reach and offer services to energy traders across Europe. To support its international growth ambitions, ETPA raised EUR 5 million in growth financing from energy transition expert SET Ventures and sustainable finance leader ABN AMRO Sustainable Impact Fund. NEMO license to enter the European intraday market ETPA provides a short-term trading platform to optimise participants’ electricity production and consumption portfolio and manage congestion in The Netherlands through its connection to GOPACS. ETPA received Nominated Electricity Market Operator (NEMO) status, providing a mandate to run the integrated intraday electricity market across Europe. In line […]
€6.1M FOR FLEXIDAO BY SET, GOOGLE AND MICROSOFT
Barcelona/Amsterdam – 7 July 2022 – FlexiDAO, a leading software provider for 24/7 electricity and carbon tracking, has announced a Series A investment round led by SET Ventures, with investment from Google and the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, and existing investor EIT InnoEnergy. FlexiDAO enables companies and governments to operate on round-the-clock carbon-free energy, by certifying and tracing their electricity and its true carbon content, every hour of every day. The investment will drive rapid scaling of the company’s first-of-its-kind software platform worldwide, focused on the US and Europe. Google and Microsoft are not only investing, but are also customers of FlexiDAO, already using the technology to support their targets of 100% 24/7 carbon-free electricity by 2030. More than one-third1 of the world’s largest publicly traded companies now have net zero targets, and there is increasing pressure on companies for transparent reporting of their emissions to drive decarbonisation. For example, the US […]