Repsol has entered the Cardumen Capital fund that specializes in investing in technological startups in Israel, allowing the energy company to expand its innovation model. The entry into Cardumen Capital, through Repsol Corporate Venturing, provides access to the powerful Israeli innovation ecosystem, recognized internationally as one of the main technological incubators in the world.
Repsol has chosen to invest in Cardumen Capital to focus its investment portfolio in technologies that are still under development but have a high potential for being integrated into the company, in areas like mobility, energy transition, digitization, cyber-security, and reliability in operations through the use of artificial intelligence.
Launched in 2018 by Gonzalo Martinez de Azagra and Igor de la Sota and regulated by the Spanish National Securities and Markets Commission (CNMV), Cardumen Capital has a management team with a solid experience in corporate venture. This is the first time that Repsol has entered into an investment fund for technological startups, thus diversifying its corporate venturing strategy which until now has been focused on acquiring direct shareholdings in companies.
Cardumen Capital has offices in Madrid and Tel Aviv, and its current portfolio comprises seven investees.
Clara Rey, Director of Repsol Energy Ventures says that the company’s investment in Cardumen Capital provides us with a complementary tool to accelerate and improve the identification of startups by accessing the Israeli ecosystem and the origin of technology that we were not able to reach before. It enables us to cover areas such as reliable search fields, mobility, and energy transition. These are all verticals where digitalization has a great impact, which is a challenge that is a top priority for Repsol, and this allows us to access technologies with a great potential for integration within the company.”
Gonzalo Martínez de Azagra, co-founder of Cardumen Capital: “Repsol’s investment strengthens our position as a fund specialised in high technology. We are proud to support Repsol in accessing the innovation of the Israeli market and have them join our other investors of the highest level.”
Repsol Corporate Venturing manages €85 million and is the multi-energy company’s tool for investing in startups to accelerate their business models. At the same time, it accesses cutting edge technology and offers its experience and infrastructures as a testing bench for the products of the startups. Repsol’s goal is to bring technological innovation closer to its commercial deployment and to be able to evaluate its potential in an agile manner.
Therefore, it is implementing an open innovation strategy to complement its internal R&D capabilities and to accelerate the incorporation of innovative technologies and models into the company’s businesses. Repsol Corporate Venturing currently participates in a total of 18 companies, and more than 1,000 investment opportunities have been analyzed since it was launched.
With its international approach, Repsol Corporate Venturing relies on a global network of contacts that include incubators, universities, and venture capital departments of other companies. One example of the international projection is one of the most recent shareholdings acquired, in the Finnish company TactoTek which develops, industrializes, and licenses a new technology for smart surfaces.
Among its other shareholdings is Finboot, a startup that develops blockchain applications for industry and that was accelerated, in the first place, by the Repsol Foundation Entrepreneur Fund. Another partnership is with Ample, an emerging company from San Francisco (United States) which develops solutions for electrical mobility through a novel approach using autonomous robotics that permits the replacement of batteries within minutes.