• Fund closes on investments in Synapticon and Titan AES
Schneider Electric a new Silicon Valley-based $565M global investment fund backed by Fortune 500 energy management and automation leader, Schneider Electric, announced today the addition of two senior partners to lead their growing investment team. Grant Allen and Varun Jain will bring their extensive global venture experience to SEV, and join Kevin Deneen, formerly of Aster Capital, to focus on investments in areas such as energy management, industrial automation and e-mobility.
“SEV is growing and ramping up our open innovation activities,” said Heriberto Diarte, head of SEV and Schneider Electric’s external innovation activities. “At a time when many of our peers are tightening investments, we are continuing to build our team and invest in disruptive ventures where Schneider Electric can be a value-add partner and market catalyst. The addition of Varun and Grant, two seasoned and respected investors, is another clear sign of our resolve to become a serious player in the venture ecosystem.“
Grant Allen joins SEV from Zurich-based ABB, where he led global ventures, overseeing a portfolio of 30+ direct and fund investments, including Bonsai AI (acquired by Microsoft), Industrial Defender (acquired by Lockheed Martin), Soft Robotics, and MineSense. An expert in corporate innovation and a venture investor for 12 years, he was instrumental in growing ABB Technology Ventures to become the most active CVC in the robotics/applied AI space, behind Google.
“We are seeking absolutely best-in-class startups aligned with Schneider’s mission of bringing energy and efficiency to enable life, progress and sustainability for all,” said Allen. “We want to see new technologies and business models transforming the way we live and work, how we produce and consume energy, and how we run buildings and factories. Supported by Schneider’s dollars, domain expertise and global customer reach, we can have a dramatic impact on the trajectory of our investments.”
Varun Jain joins SEV from Qualcomm Ventures, where he led the global early-stage practice, including a portfolio of 80+ investments. Some of the recent major exits from the practice include Cruise Automation (acquired by GM), 99 (acquired by Didi) and Zoom. He brings a strong background in industrial automation, e-mobility, and SaaS.
“SEV is a global corporate-backed venture fund, where our incentives are fully aligned with those of the founders we back,” said Jain. “We are going to target companies that not only bear the promise of outsized financial returns, but are also in a position where they can leverage Schneider Electric’s vast technical resources and distribution reach to radically grow their business.“
SEV has invested in category leaders such as AutoGrid, Claroty, Element Analytics, and Sense. They recently closed on investments with Titan AES, a novel Li-ion battery management system, and Synapticon, an advanced motion control platform for industrial robots, and anticipate investing in 10 or more new startups annually.
About Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric is leading the Digital Transformation of Energy Management and Automation in Homes, Buildings, Data Centers, Infrastructure and Industries. With global presence in over 100 countries, Schneider is the undisputable leader in Power Management – Medium Voltage, Low Voltage and Secure Power, and in Automation Systems. We provide integrated efficiency solutions, combining energy, automation and software. In our global Ecosystem, we collaborate with the largest Partner, Integrator and Developer Community on our Open Platform to deliver real-time control and operational efficiency. We believe that great people and partners make Schneider a great company and that our commitment to Innovation, Diversity and Sustainability ensures that Life Is On everywhere, for everyone and at every moment.