IFPEN’s support for innovation also takes the form of financial participation in specialized investment funds for the eco-industries and eco-energies sectors.
IFPEN provides technical expertise for the selections of companies to be supported.
IFPEN’s partner for the last 10 years, Demeter Partners has invested in 68 companies since its creation, thereby covering the entire equity chain, from start-up through to infrastructures dedicated to the environment and the energy transition.
As of 31 December 2015, Demeter Partners’ residual portfolio comprised 45 companies.
The Demeter expansion capital fund
This is the first European fund to specialize in eco-industries and eco-energies.
Representing a total of €105 million, the fund was created in 2005 on the initiative of IFPEN, the Caisse des dépôts (CDC Entreprises) and Veolia Environnement.
In July 2015, Solairedirect, a Demeter portfolio company since 2007, was bought by Engie Group for almost €200 million: a fine example of success through innovation and one of the greatest French business stories in the field of renewable energies, as the company’s influence reaches far beyond French shores.
The Demeter 2 expansion capital fund
Launched in 2009 by the founders of Demeter and new subscribers, this fund, worth a total of €203 million, specializes in eco-industries and eco-energies, with a European scope.
The new themes covered by Demeter 2 include regional development, sustainable construction and clean transport, in particular electric vehicles.
In 2015, Demeter 2 provided support to six companies, two of which represented investments on a major scale: Quadran (€45 million) and Aledia (€28 million).
Aledia won the French National Disruptive Strategy Award as part of the 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards organized by Ernst & Young.
The Demeter 3 Amorçage seed money fund
Launched in 2012 and with a final pot of €45 million in 2014, the Demeter 3 Amorçage seed money fund was set up with the support of the French National Start-up Fund (FNA), managed by Bpifrance and the European Investment Fund, associated with IFPEN and several industrial players: Suez Environnement-Blue Orange, Cofely-INEO and Air Liquide, joined by Nexity in 2014.
This fund is dedicated to investment in businesses developing innovative technologies in the eco-industries and eco-energies sectors. The companies supported must have significant technological barriers to overcome and set up collaborative projects with public or private research centers at a pre-marketing stage.
In 2015, Demeter 3 invested in four new companies (Ergosup, Irlynx, Stimergy and Lactips) and re-invested in a further six (Levisys, Ideol, Cozynergy, Microphyt, I-Ten, Agri-Esprit).
Lastly, two of the companies in the portfolio, Ynsect and I-Ten, were Innovation 2030 phase 2 award winners, a challenge launched in 2013.
The Demeter 4 Infra fund
Launched at the start of 2015, Demeter 4 Infra supports infrastructure projects in the fields of the environment and the energy transition.
The fund has already made two investments: one in the field of energy efficiency (Efficentre: energy performance contract covering 18 high schools), the other in renewable energy production (Nesle wind farm).
The total amount raised at the end of 2015 was €60 million with €100 million set as the target for 2016.
The 3E seed money fund (Emertec-Energy-Environment)
Created in 2003 by IFPEN, the Caisse des dépôts and the CEA, this fund is dedicated to new environment technologies and targets start-up companies.
Rhône-Alpes regional investment fund
This mixed public-private fund, worth €29 million, was launched in June 2011 by the Rhône-Alpes region (now Auvergne - Rhône-Alpes since the start of 2016) with a view to supporting the growth of companies in the region and promoting industry and associated services.
13 companies in the mechanics, electrical, materials, paper, cardboard and packaging, consumer and industrial goods sectors have already received backing.
IFPEN makes financial contributions to this fund, alongside the support it provides via various initiatives in the Auvergne - Rhône-Alpes region.
IFPEN provides support to employees wishing to create companies that use innovative technologies and know-how developed or used by IFPEN, whatever their field of application, which neither IFPEN nor its subsidiaries intend to bring to market.
This encouragement system schedules an incubation period of 6 to 18 months, during which time IFPEN supports the employee’s project and shares its business start-up experience: