Iberdrola
The energy funding space is becoming increasingly crowded, as power generation technologies – particularly renewables – woo more and more investors.

The co-founders of Paris-based asset management company Tilt Capital Partners believe they have a nuanced offering: they want to invest in the ‘energy transition’ – in particular, those small-to-medium companies that will enable the shift to a cleaner and greener future.

Launched a year ago with an intention to raise as much as €300m to invest in firms looking to deliver this low carbon switch, the firm is led by Nicolas Piau, Nathanael Krivine and Nicolas Lepareur, three former financial employees of French energy giant Engie.

Piau was Engie’s global head of mergers and acquisitions and he believes that this background will be a key to success for him and his colleagues: “We think we can bring value by combining both capital and sector experience.”

Nicolas Piau says investing in start-ups and SMEs is critical to the success of the energy transition

Given that Tilt Capital’s private equity fund is dedicated to the energy transition, I’m keen to know Piau’s definition of the term ‘energy transition’.

“A lot of people see it as debcarbonising the generation mix, but this is only part of the issue. We believe there is both value – and a need – to work on a solution that will integrate more and more renewables into the grid. But it must be at an affordable cost – this is very important for us, because if the energy transition leads to an increased cost of energy for residential customers or companies, then that transition has failed.”

Piau says that Tilt Capital wants “to help the system get smarter and more efficient”.

“We are looking for companies that can, for example, create a digital twin and through that modelling, locate energy efficiency pockets… all without disrupting the industrial process.”

He says another key focus area is the power electronics sector, “which is the foundation of almost all deployments in the energy chain”.