Ecomobilité Ventures, a France-based multi-corporation-sponsored venture capital (VC) firm, has struck its first three deals. The VC firm said it had invested €5m ($7m) in total in the three companies: Move About, EZ‐Wheel and Zilok Auto. Ecomobilité raised a €25m fund earlier this year from train operator SNCF, phone operator France Telecom-Orange and oil major Total. Car maker PSA Peugot Citroen had originally been part of the fund but pulled out. Ecomobilité invested €2m in Move About, a Norway-based electric vehicle sharing service set up in 2008 by Jan‐Olaf Willums and operating in Scandinavia and Germany. Last year, Move About and service partners partners Öresundskraft and Zero gained NKr9m ($1.6m) from local institution Nordic Energy Research in a project to increase electric car use. Ecomobilité and VC firm Jaina Capital invested €1.5m in France-based car-sharing service Zilok Auto, which has 3,000 cars available to rent. Last month, peer Voiturelib raised €2m from VC firms Index Ventures and Alven Capital and has 5,000 cars to rent. The third start-up, EZ‐Wheel, also based in France, has developed an electric wheel to make it easier to move handling equipment and raised an undisclosed amount. Fabienne Herlaut, managing partner of Ecomobilité Ventures, who spoke at the Global Corporate Venturing Symposium in May, said: “These first three investments are proof that the innovative partnership approach taken by Ecomobilité Ventures works. “They demonstrate that big corporations can effectively team up to identify and support high-potential start‐ups on the road to well‐deserved success.” Bernard Emsellem, executive manager for ecomobility at SNCF and chairman of the Ecomobilité Ventures fund, added: “The world of responsible mobility is being transformed by innovative initiatives championed by creative entrepreneurs. “Their ideas are gradually shaping a new approach that factors in the looming energy and climate crises and capitalizes on the opportunities afforded by the digital revolution.”
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Ecomobilite drives into three deals
Oct 14, 2012 • Global Corporate Venturing
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