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ENGIE makes its first direct investment in Israel, with the support of iKare

Engie, the French-based Energy and Utilities giant, made its first direct investment in an Israeli startup, through its corporate venture arm - Engie New Ventures. Engie took a 13% stake in Israel-based HomeBiogas, which designs and manufactures small-scale, household biogas systems that convert into cooking gas unused organic resources such as domestic waste.

Hendrik Van Asbroeck (Managing Director of Engie Fab) with Oshik Efrati (CEO of HomeBiogas)

Engie’s vision to provide a fully decarbonized, digitalized and decentralized energy offering has matched perfectly with HomeBiogas’ mission which is to provide accessible, affordable and renewable energy for all.

iKare Innovation is extremely proud to have facilitated the strong and fruitful relationship between Engie and HomeBiogas, which eventually turned into a promising venture investment. Engie has been assisted by iKare Innovation since 2016 in navigating through the immensely rich Israeli ecosystem of innovations. We look forward to increased cooperation between Israeli disruptive entrepreneurs and the leading pioneer of the energy transition. On behalf of Engie, iKare Innovation is scouting for solutions in some key strategic domains such as: distributed and clean energy, smart city, mobility solutions, facility management, smart buildings, and industry 4.0.

Anne Baer, CEO of iKare Innovation — HomeBiogas plant in Beit Yanai, Israel

France is becoming the Tech For Good champion

For those who have missed the trend, France who had always been a leader in water and energy, is taking the lead in the relentless fight against climate change, and supporting impact-oriented initiatives. Boosted by the successful climate conference COP 21 hosted by Paris in 2015, many events followed such as the Tech for Good Summit initiated by President Macron last May. 50 CEOs of tech giants such as Google, IBM, Microsoft, Facebook, Intel, Uber, and Engie, gathered at the French President residence for an open discussion on how technologies can have a positive impact on our planet.

In the same vein, last week, the ChangeNOW Summit held in Paris, saw thousands of innovators gathering and discussing about innovations and businesses with great scaling potential that address our most urgent global issues related to sustainability, energy, the environment.

Israeli Cleantech needs partners In parallel, in recent years, Israel saw a new wave of visionary entrepreneurs that have set their eyes on fixing the world’s most urgent issues. Among those, many are related to our environment, aiming at reducing our carbon footprint, and making the planet safer and cleaner.

2017 Global Cleantech Innovation Index, WWF — Israel is ranked 6th

Although on the global stage, Israel has been consistently ranked in the most innovative countries in the field of Cleantech in the last few years, these gems are often hidden by the hype generated by other hot sectors such as cyber, web and automotive. The so called “impact” technologies, cannot grow from inside Israel and need to be matched to multinationals and foreign investors in order to scale up.

Just last month the EU’s investment arm (EIF) announced it is injecting $20M into a new fund set up by Israel Cleantech Ventures (ICV). The EIF called the investment a ‘’historic deal […] proof of Israel’s drive to be leaders of innovation’’.

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