ESG is placed at the core of every investment
ESG is placed at the core of every investment
Zest is democratising EV adoption in the UK by rapidly filling the gaps in the maturing public charging infrastructure. We’re rapidly growing a network that makes fast charging available where people regularly park for extended periods of time, whether it is when shopping, at leisure or at work.
For landowners such as enterprises, parking operators, or local authorities, Zest removes the financial and operational barriers to committing to large-scale charger deployments. This includes everything from planning and installing the chargers to ongoing maintenance.
The team at Zest has the experience and engineering pedigree to deliver high quality end-to-end solutions. They believe that by acting today to improve access to public charging, they can accelerate the shift to EV and help create a sustainable net-zero carbon future. The company is committed to renewable energy, and to supporting local suppliers to deliver solutions.
char.gy was formed in 2016, based in London, with a focus on solving the problem of where to charge an electric vehicle for the 40% of the UK population that do not have off-street parking. To date the company’s focus has been on building a software platform, manufacturing charge points, and selling these charge points to Local Authorities in England. char.gy have nearly 1000 charge points on the streets, the majority in London and Coventry, and is in a strong position to further expand in both the public and private sectors. The business model to date has depended predominantly on the Local Authorities obtaining funding from OZEV to fund 75% of the capital costs of the charge points. char.gy then operates the charge points, collecting the revenue, paying for the ongoing operations and maintenance, the electricity consumed, and pays the local authority a small share of the revenue.
Liberty Charge is a joint venture between Liberty Global and Zouk Capital, which is rolling out on-street residential electric vehicle charging points in the UK. Leveraging all the build capabilities and network assets of Virgin Media, a Liberty Global subsidiary, Liberty Charge focuses on providing the under-the-pavement power and communications infrastructure necessary for electric vehicle charging in residential areas.
Zouk has teamed up with Solar Ventures, a leading Italian solar IPP and project developer to jointly develop and construct a portfolio of subsidy-free photovoltaic plants in Southern Italy, initially totalling approximately 120 MWp.
The projects are currently in the mid development stage and the funding provided by Zouk Capital and Solar Ventures will enable the finalisation of the development process as well as the construction of the plants. The plants will be amongst the first in Italy to be completed on a truly subsidy free basis as they will not be subject to a feed-in tariff or other state incentive mechanism. Instead, they will sell their power output commercially through long-term power purchase agreements.
Be Power owns and operates public EV chargers throughout Italy through its subsidiaries BE Charge and 4energia.
Be Power is developing one of Italy's biggest and most extensive public infrastructure networks for electric vehicles. It is both a CPO and an EMSP and is contributing to developing and growing electric mobility throughout Italy. This is thanks to BE Charge's high-speed, technological infrastructure that is reliable and accessible.
It also operates a virtual power plant technology through its 100% owned subsidiary 4Energia, which operates as an energy trader and provides demand response services. The subsidiaries work together to offer smart solutions for EV drivers and land owners looking to benefit from the rapidly growing EV market.
Eni, through Eni gas e luce, has acquired 100% of Be Power S.p.A., which through its subsidiary Be Charge is the second largest Italian operator with over 5 thousand electric vehicle charging points on public land.
EO Charging (EO) is a leading technology solutions provider in the electric vehicle sector.
Designing and manufacturing electric vehicle charging stations and cloud-based charge-point management software for fleets, homes and destinations at its headquarters in Suffolk, United Kingdom, EO also provides installation services and ongoing operations and maintenance.
Founded in 2015, EO’s technology is used by many of the world’s biggest businesses and fleet operators and it now distributes to over 30 countries around the world. It aims to become the global leader in charging electric car and van fleets .
SWVL is a premium app-based mass transit system that enables riders to share fixed-route bus trips for a flat fare with no surge pricing, which is trying to solve the pain of a daily commute in emerging market.
iZettle is on a mission to help small business succeed in a world of giants.
Founded in Stockholm in 2010, the financial technology company revolutionised mobile payments with the world’s first mini chip card reader and software for mobile devices.
Today iZettle’s commerce platform for small businesses in Europe and Latin America provides tools to get paid, sell smarter and grow your business.
In May 2018, iZettle agreed to be acquired by PayPal for $2.2bn.
Workable is a leading talent acquisition SaaS platform for SMBs.
The company began as a self-service applicant tracking system (ATS) that quickly sourced and screened candidates. Today Workable is empowering SMB clients across the world with a comprehensive, all-in-one, feature-driven recruiting cloud platform and best-in-class user interface. In addition, Workable has developed proprietary AI-enabled sourcing tools to help companies find the best talent. With this product they aim to disrupt the recruitment agency business by automating the core functions of this $270bn+ market.
Workable is based in London, Boston and Athens and was founded in 2012.
10X Investments is a tech-enabled asset manager. 10X provides a range of simple, effective, low cost solutions to retirement investors and manages several billion rand in private and corporate retirement investment funds, and its clients include: Virgin Active, EOH and Macquarie.
Green Hedge Energy UK Limited (“GH”) is a developer of utility scale battery storage projects in the UK.
The penetration of renewable energy, the retirement of conventional generation assets as well as the growth in distributed generation will dramatically increase requirement for flexibility in the UK power market over the coming years. Green Hedge aims to take advantage of this trend by building and operating a portfolio of battery storage projects providing ancillary services to the grid as well as trading electricity on wholesale markets. Batteries are the ultimate flexible asset, and are well suited for providing flexibility to the grid.
Green Hedge has now successfully completed the sale of its 120 MW pipeline of pre-construction projects, with two 20 MW projects being sold in Q4 2021 and the two remaining 40 MW projects in May 2022 to Bluefield Solar.
Instavolt is a provider of rapid charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.
InstaVolt owns, installs and maintains rapid electric vehicle charging units all over the country, giving landowners the opportunity to earn a rental income by housing them, and giving EV drivers access to the fastest and most reliable charging available. InstaVolt's 50kW and new generation 125kW DC rapid charging units enable drivers to be back on the road in minutes.
InstaVolt believes that charging an electric vehicle should be quick and easy. It’s why, unlike many other companies, InstaVolt operates an ‘open charger’ model, so anyone can use its charging points on a pay-as-you-go basis. No monthly subscription and no membership cards are required. At the company’s core is a mission to make the UK an easier place to recharge – meaning more electric vehicles on the road and better air quality for all.
The service is highly reliable and designed to help maximise EV take-up helped by strong Government policy to drive the sustained growth of the sector.
InstaVolt was sold to EQT Infrastructure Partners in March 2022 seeing Zouk exit in full.
GetSmarter is an online education company based in Cape Town and London. We collaborate with the world's legendary Universities to offer premium online short courses to working professionals around the world.
GetSmarter was acquired by 2U in May 2017 for $103m.
A leading online tour operator based in South Africa.
Rhino Africa is a leading online tour operator based in South Africa that specialise in luxury, tailor-made itineraries to Africa, which benefits from unique lifelong travel partners relationships and an exceptionally strong management team across multiple levels of the organisation (both traditional travel and online).
In 2022, Zouk sold the fund’s holding in Rhino Africa.
ip.access, a leading 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G-ready carrier grade small cell radio solutions provider. The company has two primary lines of business; commercial communications networks deployed with Communications Service Providers (CSPs), and private networks deployed with system integrators for critical infrastructures, security and surveillance.
ip.access was acquired by Mavenir in September 2020.
Cyphort is an innovative provider of Advanced Threat Protection solutions that deliver a complete defense against current and emerging Advanced Persistent Threats, targeted attacks and zero day vulnerabilities. The Cyphort Platform accurately detects and analyses next generation malware, providing actionable, contextual intelligence that enables security teams to respond to attacks faster, more effectively, and in as surgical a manner as their attackers. Cyphort’s software-based, distributed architecture offers a cost effective, high performance approach to detecting and protecting an organization’s virtual, physical and cloud infrastructure against sophisticated attacks. Malware detection for Windows, OSX and Linux allows businesses to extract maximum value from IT assets without compromising the security of an organization. Founded by experts in advanced threats from government intelligence agencies and premier network security companies, Cyphort is a privately held company headquartered in Santa Clara, California.
Sigfox is the premier provider of dedicated cellular connectivity for Internet of Things and Machine-to-Machine communications. The company’s network complements existing high-bandwidth systems by providing economical, energy-efficient two-way transmission of small quantities of data, thus lowering barriers to wide implementation of IoT and M2M solutions, and greatly extending the battery and service life of connected devices.
Sigfox's global network is deployed through the SIGFOX Network Operator™ partnership program, present in 72+ countries, with 1.3bn people covered over more than 6 million square kilometers covered. The company is headquartered in Labège, France, with offices globally.
Zouk partnered with a fund backed by the uk's green investment bank to provide equity for the construction of the £111m levenseat renewable energy limited 12.5 mwe waste from energy (EFW) and adjacent material recyclying material facility (MRF) near forth in south lanarkshire, Scotland.
This is one of the first UK plants combining fluidised bed gasification technology with refuse derived fuel (RDF), processed by the project’s own MRF. The MRF will recover plastics, metals, paper and card for recycling. The project is forecast to recycle over a million tonnes of materials over its lifetime and will generate the heat required by the MRF. The development is also forecast to supply electricity equivalent to the needs of nearly 18,000 homes over its life. It is expected to avoid 1.4 million tonnes of waste going into landfill and to deliver a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of around 1.3 million tonnes, equivalent to taking over 23,000 cars off the road for every year it operates.
Taulia is a leading provider of working capital solutions headquartered in San Francisco, California. Through a unique combination of its technology platform, people and process, Taulia helps companies access the value tied up in their supply chain by transitioning from inefficient and often manual working capital management practices into technology-led, working capital optimization strategies. Taulia’s vision is to create a world where every business thrives by enabling buyers and suppliers to choose when to pay and get paid. A network of 2 million businesses use Taulia’s technology and the company processes over $500 billion every year. Taulia is trusted by the world’s largest companies including Airbus, AstraZeneca, Nissan and Vodafone.
Taulia was acquired by SAP, a market leader in enterprise application software, in March 2022.
Readly is the European category leader for digital subscription services for magazines providing “all-you-can-read” access to a portfolio of approximately 5,000 titles and approximately 130,000 issues from trusted publishers. In collaboration with about 800 publishers worldwide, and with users in more than 50 markets, Readly is digitizing the magazine industry.
The company successfully listed on the Swedish Nasdaq in September 2020 with an oversubscribed IPO.
Zouk provided equity finance to fund turbine schemes across the UK, which are now fully operational. The 14 sites are based across the UK with 10 Emergya Wind Technologies (“EWT”) and 4 Northern Power Systems (“NPS”) turbines. The portfolio is driven by RPI-indexed Feed-in Tariffs (“FiTs”), which are UK government backed for 20 years. In 2016 the portfolio was refinanced by non-recourse senior debt provided by Bayern LB. The portfolios are driven by RPI-indexed Feed-in Tariffs (“FiTs”), which are UK government backed for 20 years.
The Urban Wind portfolio was sold to Resonance Asset Management in December 2021.
Zouk funds new rooftop solar PV portfolio.
Following the 3000 rooftop PV systems installed by Freetricity as part of the 7000 unit portfolio sold by Zouk to Aviva in 2014, Zouk has again teamed up with Freetricity to install free residential solar PV systems in the South of England and South Wales. The utility brand used for the programme is Lumen Energy.
The investment model enables homeowners and social housing residents to benefit from free use of the electricity generated by the solar PV systems. The systems are installed at no cost to the residents and can reduce household power bills substantially, which helps to relieve many from fuel poverty.
Zouk has been a pioneer of distributed solar PV projects in the UK. It remains an extremely efficient method of power generation with strong carbon saving benefits.
Zola Electric is one of the largest providers of solar energy services to off-grid residential customers in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Tanzania alone, the company addresses over 9 million people who are not connected to the national electricity grid – and have limited prospects of getting connected due to the costs and logistical issues involved in hard-line infrastructure.
Located in Tanzania, the company has developed a proprietary solution using solar photovoltaic (PV), light emitting diode (LED) lighting, batteries, power management and e-payments, which enables households to switch from using kerosene to solar as a primary energy source for lighting and other services. Zola’s systems are provided free of charge to households, funded by Zouk and other investors, and customer pre-payments are made using M-Pesa’s mobile money system, which ensures simple, low-cost revenue collection. The distributed energy model negates a requirement for a grid connection and can significantly change the wellbeing of each family as the systems are installed on millions of households across Africa.
Huddle was acquired by Ideagen in December 2020.
Huddle is a secure cloud collaboration service that enables enterprise and government organizations worldwide to securely store, access, share, sync and work on files with everyone they need to - regardless of whether they are inside or outside of an organization's firewall. Co-headquartered in London and San Francisco and with offices in New York City and Washington D.C., Huddle's customers include 80 percent of Fortune 500 and 80 percent of UK government departments, as well as companies such as Kia Motors, Williams Lea, Driscoll’s, Unilever and P&G. The company is privately held and backed by leading venture capital firms in the US and Europe.
STI was acquired by Nokia in May 2018.
Space-Time Insight transforms vast quantities of disparate information into intuitive visual displays that businesses can use to make informed real-time decisions. From traditional transmission, communications and transportation networks to Smart Grids and Cities, its next-generation situational intelligence solution is making critical infrastructure smarter, safer and more reliable. With Space-Time Insight, enterprises can visualize and analyze their resources across location and time, rapidly respond to disruptions in service, and lower risk while increasing customer satisfaction and profitability. Major organizations around the world rely on Space-Time Insight’s high performance software to gain actionable insights into their businesses and make real-time operational decisions. Space-Time Insight partners with leaders in the industry including Accenture, EMC, Esri, IBM, OSIsoft, and SAP. Space-Time Insight is based in San Mateo, California.
TMH was acquired by Daimler AG.
The Mobility House aims to promote the transition to renewable energy and facilitate an emissions-free future. With The Mobility House’s innovative charging and energy storage solutions, electric mobility becomes part of the energy solution.
Using The Mobility House’s proprietary technology, aggregates of stationary and electric vehicle batteries are optimised for balancing the electricity grid and providing energy management services to customers. The Mobility House was founded in 2009 and supports leading car manufacturers in over 10 countries throughout the world from its locations in Munich, Zurich and San Francisco
Lighting Science Group Corporation (LSG) designs, manufactures and markets Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting solutions that are more energy efficient than traditional lighting products. By applying the science of light, the LSG team is leading the way to deliver on the promise of LED technology for indoor and outdoor lighting projects.
LSG offers retrofit LED bulbs which are compatible with traditional lamps; they are a bestselling product in Home Depot stores. In addition, the company provides LED lights for a range of commercial and infrastructure applications. LSG's Advanced Products Group designs, develops and manufactures LED lighting solutions for novel applications including intelligent lighting, biological and agricultural lighting applications and customized architectural products.
va-Q-tec AG designs and manufactures customised vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) and heat & cool storage elements containing phase change materials (PCMs). These products have multiple applications, in particular where space is limited and an excellent thermal insulation is required.
va-Q-tec has won numerous awards for its VIP technology and holds more than 30 active patents, with many worldwide patent applications pending. The company's headquarters are located in Wuerzburg (Germany) and further facilities have been established in Koelleda (Germany), Rochester (UK) and Seoul (South Korea). va-Q-tech has more than 130 employees worldwide.
va-Q-tec IPO'd on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in September 2016.
OZZ Electric Inc. (“OZZ”), based in Toronto (Canada), is a full-service energy efficiency and electrical contractor that specializes in large scale design and build projects.
The company has extensive experience installing core electrical wiring, power systems, communications and cabling equipment, and renewable energy systems in residential, commercial, industrial and utility scale structures. The company also provides comprehensive project design and management services, as well as customized service and maintenance packages.
In partnership with OZZ Solar, the company offers commercial customers installation services for energy efficiency and solar technologies. Zouk’s investment will support OZZ’s continued growth driven through its contracting business, which is focused on solar installation, building management systems and smart meter rollout.
In 2015, Zouk sold the fund's holding in OZZ Electric.
Anesco provides energy efficiency implementation, management and consultancy services for residential and commercial markets in the UK. Anesco is addressing the large and growing demand in the UK’s energy efficiency and micro-generation industries.
The company covers a full range of energy efficiency measures, including building insulation, renewable energy (e.g. heat pumps, solar thermal, solar PV) and full-scope commercial solutions (e.g. audit, implementation and consultancy). Anesco provides homeowners, local authorities and business with a full-service offering of installation, ongoing monitoring and, for commercial clients, energy services and contracting. Zouk led the investment in Anesco alongside Scottish and Southern Energy, the UK’s second largest energy utility.
In 2013, Zouk sold the fund's holding in Anesco.
Based in Abu Dhabi, Enviromena Power systems is a leading developer of solar PV power plants in the Middle East and North African region.
The company’s highly experienced international team designs, installs and operates solar power plants of utility, commercial and residential scale. Enviromena’s capabilities as an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor have been approved by Masdar; the company completed construction of a 10 MW project which powers Masdar City. An additional high profile project includes a building integrated PV development at the Yas Marina Formula 1 racing circuit in Abu Dhabi. Enviromena is a leader in many countries in the region, including Egypt, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Jordan, Oman, Dubai, Morocco and Mauritania and recently had installed nearly 50% of MENA’s installs. It is also a leader in utility scale PV, diesel-PV hybrids and off and on grid residential. With over 30 projects in 6 countries totalling over 40 MW, Enviromena has the largest installed capacity of solar photovoltaic projects in the Middle East and North Africa. As an early investor, zSOL has a strong working relationship with Enviromena and continues to leverage its synergies with the developer.
Trilliant provides intelligent network solutions and software to utilities for advanced metering, demand response, and Smart Grid management.
Trilliant Incorporated is a leading global provider of smart grid solutions that incorporate intelligent networking and enterprise software to transform the way electricity, gas and water are managed, monitored and consumed.
The company’s SecureMesh suite of communication products and related offerings provide utilities with an integrated grid platform that forms the backbone of a Smart Grid, enabling a wide range of advanced automation capabilities. The company’s end-to-end secure Internet Protocol -based networking system offers unmatched flexibility, scalability, and future proofing and can be custom tailored to address the grid automation needs of its customers, from the world’s largest investor owned utilities to small, rural utility cooperatives.
To date, Trilliant has successfully deployed its smart grid solutions to over 200 utility customers across North America, Europe and Asia, automating over 1.5 million endpoints in a wide variety of geographies, densities, and applications.
Zouk sold its stake in Trilliant in June 2019.
Orb Energy is a leading retailer and installer of solar technologies in India.
The company’s main activities are the sale, installation and servicing of solar PV and solar thermal systems. Based in Bangalore, India, the company was established in 2006 to meet the growing demand for reliable and clean power in rural and semi-urban locations at the residential and commercial scales.
With Zouk's assistance, Orb Energy built an unrivalled sales network across India which provided high quality delivery, installation and after-sales service. To meet local demand for affordable solar systems, Orb established manufacturing lines to assemble their unique products in India. The company developed strong relationships with regional banks to provide financing packages which aided proliferation of solar in the region.
Zouk sold the fund's holding in Orb Energy in 2012.
The recycling technology developed and provided by SiC Processing allowed for the multiple use of silicon carbide and polyethylene glycol in the solar PV wafer manufacturing process. SiC’s service provided immediate cost benefits by displacing the silicon wafer manufacturer’s requirement to purchase virgin silicon carbide slurry.
Zouk sold the fund's holding in SiC Processing in 2012.
Solarcentury is one of the most respected solar companies in the world. Founded in 1998, Solarcentury has been around since the early days of the solar industry and has been part of the evolution that has made PV the attractive investment it is today.
Solarcentury works with investors to develop, build and run solar farms. It works with businesses to finance and install solar rooftops and with retailers, utilities and social housing providers to run solar programmes for homes. Solarcentury’s business is global and growing, with offices in the UK, The Netherlands, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Panama, Mexico and Chile.
In November 2020, Solarcentury was sold to Norwegian utility Statkraft for GBP 117.7m
Berlin-based Nanotron Technologies developed a proprietary energy efficiency technology focused on ultra-low-power Real Time Location Systems applications using active RFID.
Nanotron provides reliable loss protection technology which is used predominately in mining and agricultural applications. Energy efficient, battery powered nodes are the key building blocks. Robust wireless chirp technology underpins Nanotron’s offering of chips, modules and loss protection software for indoor and outdoor environments worldwide.
Zouk Capital financed a 20 MW solar PV portfolio located across the UK on 7,000 residential rooftops.
The portfolio was constructed using a pioneering model which enabled homeowners and Housing Association residents to benefit from the electricity generated by solar PV assets which were financed by Zouk. Debt providers to Zouk’s UK portfolio included Santander and Lombard.
The portfolio delivered a number of benefits. The solar PV assets have helped relieve a material number of households from energy poverty. The diversified nature of the solar PV assets also provide a carbon benefit by avoiding transmission and distribution losses associated with grid-based power assets.
Zouk was able to structure and execute this high value portfolio by drawing on its networks, market intelligence and commercial expertise. The team’s knowledge of distributed energy programmes is market leading.
Zouk sold the portfolio to Aviva Investors in two tranches over 2013-14.
Zouk Capital financed and oversaw the construction of a 16 MW portfolio of solar PV assets in Italy.
The assets are operational and generate around 25 GWh per year, which represents an annual carbon saving of over 10,000 tonnes. The portfolio was constructed by leading contractors, such as Iberdrola, using high quality equipment. Financing has been provided by institutions including UniCredit, Fineco and Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena. The projects vary from ground mounted projects in Southern Italy to a large greenhouse in Lazio and an architectural car park shading scheme in Piemonte.
In February 2016, Zouk announced the sale of its Italian assets to a strategic partnership between Econergy and Equitix.
Gas Turbine Efficiency designs, manufactures and supplies proprietary cleantech energy saving and performance enhancing solutions to the power generation, oil and gas, and aviation industries. The company’s extensive portfolio of patented cleantech solutions save fuel, reduce emissions, increase availability, and extend turbine and parts life. Zouk exited GTE when it was sold to Wood Group PLC in 2011.