The UK utility’s CVC unit will be led by Stephen Smith, who is joined by GCV Powerlist member Pradeep Tagare, among others.

Steve Smith

Steve Smith, NGP president. Image courtesy of NGP.

National Grid Partners (NGP), the corporate venturing and innovation arm of UK-headquartered utility National Grid, has undergone a restructuring.

Steve Smith (pictured), NGP’s new president, will lead the unit, which has a renewed investment focus. He will help unify National Grid’s strategy, innovation and corporate venturing activities.

“Utilities must move faster to scale innovations that can slash emissions, support soaring energy demand and create the utility of the future,” Smith said in a statement.

National Grid hired Smith in late 2021 to oversee group strategy, innovation and market analytics. He held various innovation and regulatory roles at Lloyds Banking Group for more than a decade.

Pradeep Tagare, NGP’s vice president of investments, who was part of GCV Powerlist last year, will lead the unit’s investment team. Brett Chandler, VP of business development, and Gerard Kelly, VP of innovation and venture acceleration, are also part of the new leadership team.

Launched with $250m in 2018 and co-founded by seasoned corporate VC investor and GCV Powerlist mainstay Lisa Lambert, NGP invested in renewable energy technology developers. The unit eventually received $150m from the parent firm for a second fund in 2021.

NGP has provided over $400m to some 40 companies, having scored seven exits and several unicorns, companies whose valuation exceeds $1bn.

Edison Fu

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