Subject to regulatory approval, Shell is to acquire all shares in German digital utility company Next Kraftwerke, buying from VC investors including High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) and Neuhaus Partners, as well as investors Dirk Freise and Martin Ostermayer. Next Kraftwerke is a spin-off founded by two PhD students from the Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne, Jochen Schwill and Hendrik Sämisch, who set out to solve grid stability during and after the energy transition. Their solution is to use a large number of decentralised power plants to generate electricity, and it enables other energy companies to integrate alternative resources into the electricity market. It currently operates in eight European countries, including Germany. After getting started in 2009, the team received an EXIST Business Startup Grant. In 2010 the company then received seed funding from HTGF, who now expect payout at a multiple of 20X, according to a statement. Shell Overseas Investment is making the purchase, and neither party disclosed financial terms of the deal.
Photo: co-founders Hendrik Sämisch and Jochen Schwill