Schneider Electric Ups Innovation Drive Via $565M Venture Capital Funding Outfit (QMerit)

Global energy management and automation solutions provider Schneider Electric (EPA:SU) has formally launched its own dedicated venture capital funding outfit.

Initial noises about the move appeared on investors' and analysts' radars in October when the Rueil-Malmaison, France-headquartered company led a $18 million financing for Sense, a developer of home energy monitoring systems.

Announcing the move at its Innovation Summit in Atlanta, U.S. on Tuesday (November 13), Schneider Electric said the dedicated VC funding unit will boost its innovation ecosystem and nurture "tomorrow’s transformational and disruptive innovations."

The unit – 'Schneider Electric Ventures' – will have up to €500 million ($565 million) of dry powder to invest in incubation projects, partnerships with entrepreneurs, and specialized funds, and would "welcome ideas" from innovators and entrepreneurs eager to turn their concepts into reality.

The Sense equity raise might well have caught the public's eye, but Schneider Electric's Chairman and CEO Jean-Pascal Tricoire told your correspondent that his company's VC foray is already well underway with five other equity investments.

These include – Element Analytics (industrial big data analytics firm), Habiteo (3D specialist for new residential housing), QMerit (dubbed the "Uber" for contractors and Maintenance, Repair and Operating spend), KGS, (predictive engine for "just-in-time" maintenance) and Claroty (Cybersecurity company for industrial operational technology networks).

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