National Grid Partners Sharpened Investment Focus to Accelerate Net Zero Progress

Author photo: Jim Frazer
ByJim Frazer
Acquisition or Partnership

National Grid Partners (NGP), the corporate venture capital and innovation arm of one of the world's largest utilities, announced a streamlined leadership structure and refreshed investment focus to accelerate net zero progress and scale innovation across global energy networks.

These efforts bring National Grid's strategy, innovation and startup investing together under one umbrella. The new structure is designed to maximize impact and further build on the parent company's transformational work to provide a clean, fair and affordable energy transition.

The new structure will draw on the NGP team's combined 225 years of venture investing and utility operations experience to help startups scale new technologies in months, not years. Steve Smith, president of NGP, has made the following appointments and promotions to lead this charge:

  • Vice President, Investments – Pradeep Tagare

  • Vice President, Business Development – Brett Chandler

  • Vice President, Innovation and Venture Acceleration – Gerard Kelly

NGP also has sharpened its investment strategy to focus on four pillars. Derived from conversations with startup founders, utilities, and other innovation leaders to identify the most pressing challenges in the clean energy transition, the pillars include:

  • Future Electric Networks: Upgrading and rebuilding the grid to boost renewable energy, increase reliability and meet new electric demand while reaching net-zero.

  • Customer First: Delivering solutions to help customers manage a fair and affordable energy transition.

  • Efficiency Through Innovation: Deploying artificial intelligence, cloud and edge computing, and other emerging technologies to improve operational performance.

  • Decarbonizing Gas: Delivering innovative technologies to reduce leakage and decarbonize our networks.

To integrate more closely with Silicon Valley, NGP is moving to Menlo Park's Sand Hill Road, the global epicenter of the venture capital industry.

National Grid Partners has invested more than $400 million in 43 companies since its 2018 launch, with seven successful exits and an industry leading percentage of portfolio "unicorns" valued at more than $1 billion. 

In addition, NGP has delivered a step change to National Grid's innovation strategy by introducing hundreds of startup technologies, identifying future challenges, and developing prototypes and business models to meet those challenges.


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