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DNV GL launches “decade of transformations” fund

(Posted on 02/03/20)

DNV GL, the risk management and system assurance company, has launched a venture fund in response to the challenges of the “decade of transformations,” which will be defined by the energy transition and the fourth industrial revolution. DNV GL Ventures will build a portfolio of between 15-20 startups in the next four years, taking stakes of up to 20% in the companies.

“We have entered a decade of transformation where the pace of the energy transition will be set and digital technologies underpinning industry 4.0 will mature from experimentation into large-scale application. Therefore, operating like it is business as usual is not an option,” said Klas Bendrik, Chair of DNV GL Ventures investment committee and DNV GL’s Chief Digital Transformation Officer. “The launch of DNV GL Ventures is an acknowledgment that even a company of experts like ours must look beyond its own four walls to stay relevant.”

DNV GL’s Energy Transition Outlook forecasts a rapid decarbonization of the global energy system and by midcentury fossil fuels and renewables will almost equally share the energy mix. DNV GL’s services are already reflecting this shift and since the new year DNV GL has announced it will monitor the largest solar farm in Europe and launched FuelBoss, a platform that facilitates LNG bunkering for ships. DNV GL has also explored how industry 4.0 is likely to impact society and industry in its recent publication Technology Outlook 2030, which examines subjects as wide as precision medicine and the new space race.

With these factors in mind, DNV GL Ventures is looking to invest in companies that reflect these important transformations. Although DNV GL Ventures has a wide remit, it will also focus on DNV GL’s strong industry categories, especially the maritime and energy sectors. DNV GL is also a leading certification body and has developed digital solutions and ecosystems together with the blockchain technology provider VeChain, in which DNV GL bought a stake in 2018. The venture fund will continue to explore opportunities that boost customer trust and supply chain transparency, particular in the food & beverage, healthcare and automotive sectors.

DNV GL Ventures will invest in startups in the seed to series A phase, meaning they have their first customer or in other ways validated their product-market fit. In addition to capital, the startups will gain access to DNV GL’s wide spectrum of technical expertise, customer base of 100 000 clients and brand value.  

“With our purpose to “safeguard life, property and the environment” and deep technical expertise we offer an alternative investment option than traditional investors,” said Kaare Helle, Venture Director at DNV GL Ventures. “Over the last 150 years we have accumulated a massive amount of knowledge and a customer base to match, and any startup we invest in will be able to tap into this.”

DNV GL Ventures calls for 90 second video pitches

In keeping with the rapid pace of change, DNV GL is inviting startups to send their ninety second video pitches directly to the venture team. Each video will be reviewed, and feedback given within fifteen working days.

“Startups will have enough time in the future to make PowerPoint presentations, we want them to be focused on developing their product and building their customer base. The video pitch is an opportunity to demonstrate their business case in a way that is time efficient for both parties,” said Kaare Helle.

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