26 – 100 in alphabetical order: Jonathan Tudor, Centrica
In September 2017, Jonathan Tudor left petroleum producer BP, where he was managing director of its BP Ventures unit, and accepted “an offer I could not refuse” to head a corporate venturing subsidiary of UK-listed energy utility Centrica.
Tudor, the winner of a Global Corporate Venturing Rising Stars award in 2016 and Powerlist 2018, had been venture director at lubricants provider and a division of BP Castrol’s corporate venturing arm Castrol InnoVentures, before its reorganisation into BP Ventures in 2017.
Tudor had worked at Castrol and BP, where he had found ample support as a “self-confessed geek, who likes technology with the allure of making money in addition to shifting the corporate dial,” since 2012.
Following three years at glass manufacturer Schott, Tudor’s initial move into investing was as an investment director at government technology contractor Qinetiq’s venture capital arm, Qinetiq Ventures, from 2002 to 2007, before its secondary buyout backed by Coller Capital led to the formation of CG Innovation Partners.
In addition to his core activities, Tudor is head of British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association’s CVC committee, and wants to “share best practice on how to manage strategic measures, as well as work on training and the professionalisation” of the work done by corporate venturers.
Tudor brings a decade of venture experience to Centrica, where Sam Salisbury, GCV’s Rising Star awardee in 2017, and Christophe Defert, awardee from 2017 to 2019, directors and co-heads of Centrica Innovations (CI), had scaled up a unique blend of corporate and impact venturing for the utility.
Centrica launched CI in January 2017 to invest £100m ($125m) in startups over the course of five years. The unit incorporated the £10m Ignite social impact fund it formed in 2014, and which won GCV’s corporate impact venturing award in 2016.
Defert has spent seven years at Anglo-American energy utility Centrica after completing his MBA from Wharton business school in 2010. His move into ventures in February 2017 from being chief of staff to the CEO of Centrica’s US-based business, Direct Energy, came with a renewed push into corporate venture capital.
Salisbury and Defert were then joined by Jonathan Tudor from BP Ventures in October 2017.
As Iain Conn, Centrica’s group chief executive, said for the Powerlist 2017 awards: “The launch of Centrica Innovations is an important step in identifying and responding to the changing needs of our customers. The new venture will ensure innovation is embedded across our business and will allow us to invest in the technologies that can support our customers into the future. We are already investing £1.2bn to 2020 in our connected home and distributed energy and power businesses, helping residential and business customers take control of their energy and save money.”
In August last year, CI participated in a $18m series B round led by Liberty Technology Venture Capital, a corporate venturing arm of mass media company Liberty Media, for US-based industrial cybersecurity technology developer Indegy.
Other deals CI was involved in include an $83m series C round for US-based electrical generator producer EtaGen in January 2018 and a round of undisclosed amount for US-based energy-focused blockchain service LO3 Energy.
In January this year, CI co-led a $12m funding round for Driivz, an Israel-based provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging technology. This deal was followed by a post on The Times of Israel by Tudor in March, where he said CI was looking to target the Israeli entrepreneurial ecosystem, covering energy, electrification of transport, data, blockchain and the internet of things.