Top 50 Emerging Leaders 2021 continued (in alphabetical order by CVC unit): Grant Allen and Varun Jain, general partners, Schneider Electric Ventures

Grant Allen and Varun Jain are general partners at Schneider Electric Ventures (SE Ventures or SEV), a €500m ($565m) corporate venture capital (CVC) fund for France-headquartered energy management and automation technology producer Schneider Electric.

Allen focuses on climate tech and industrial technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Jain, on the other hand, targets developers of automated or energy-efficient technologies for any built environment including homes, offices and data centres.

Allen and Jain joined SEV in August 2019, having respectively come from ABB Technology Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures, the CVC arms of power and automation technology manufacturer ABB and mobile chipmaker Qualcomm.

Heriberto Diarte, head of SEV and Schneider Electric’s external innovation activities, said at the time: “SEV is growing and ramping up our open innovation activities. At a time when many of our peers are tightening investments, we are continuing to build our team and invest in disruptive ventures where Schneider Electric can be a value-add partner and market catalyst. The addition of Varun and Grant, two seasoned and respected investors, is another clear sign of our resolve to become a serious player in the venture ecosystem.”

Allen added: “We are seeking absolutely best-in-class startups aligned with Schneider’s mission of bringing energy and efficiency to enable life, progress and sustainability for all. We want to see new technologies and business models transforming the way we live and work, how we produce and consume energy, and how we run buildings and factories. Supported by Schneider’s dollars, domain expertise and global customer reach, we can have a dramatic impact on the trajectory of our investments.”

Jain commented: “SEV is a global corporate-backed venture fund, where our incentives are fully aligned with those of the founders we back. We are going to target companies that not only bear the promise of outsized financial returns but are also in a position where they can leverage Schneider Electric’s vast technical resources and distribution reach to radically grow their business.”

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.