Further investments by ORLEN VC

Innovative systems designed to improve wind turbine performance and robotic solutions to handle industrial inspections are among the latest investments of ORLEN VC, Poland’s largest corporate venture capital fund, specialising in promising technology startups. ORLEN VC has also completed another indirect investment in Environmental Technologies Fund, a UK-based venture capital fund investing in startups with a focus on energy transition and future mobility.

“Our ability to acquire and effectively deploy innovations is what underpins the ORLEN Group’s competitive position. Hence our consistent efforts to develop ORLEN VC, Poland’s largest corporate venture capital fund, which is our vehicle exploring the whole world for innovative solutions. The fund’s new investments, both indirect and direct ones, will support successful delivery of the Group’s strategy in the long term and contribute to creating value for all our stakeholders,” says Daniel Obajtek, CEO of PKN ORLEN.

ORLEN VC supports technology startups in the expansion phase, working on cutting-edge products or services that fit in with the ORLEN2030 strategy. The fund’s portfolio currently comprises three companies: ICSec, a provider of cybersecurity solutions for the industrial sector, Eologix, which has developed a system for monitoring and improving the performance of wind turbines, and Invert Robotics, a manufacturer of patented industrial inspection robots. ORLEN VC has also invested its capital in other funds – Emerald Technology Ventures based in Switzerland and Environmental Technologies Fund based in the UK.

Eologix sensor technology gmbH is an Austrian producer of a monitoring system designed to improve wind turbine performance by checking the rotor blade angle and component positions, detecting ice and other functions. The solution consists of proprietary rotor mounted sensors, a base station and software. The employment of such solutions can raise turbine efficiency from several up to 20-30 per cent. The company holds over 20 internationally registered patents, serving more than 100 clients. It currently works with the major turbine manufacturers Enercon, Vestas and GE, and with energy companies including E.ON, RWE, Vattenfall and BayWa r.e. The system can be installed on both newly built and existing turbines. In making the investment, ORLEN VC collaborated with leading global funds such as: Emerald Technology Ventures, Nabtesco Technology Ventures and Phoenix Contact Innovation Ventures.

Invert Robotics Group Limited is a technology company based in Ireland, developing proprietary robots for automating industrial inspections. Tank inspections in industrial settings are an integral element of plant maintenance, ensuring long service lives of existing infrastructure, and are also mandated worldwide by state-level regulations. Currently, most assets are inspected through a lengthy, expensive and dangerous manual process performed by human technicians. The company has addressed these problems by offering robots that can climb and descend vertical surfaces through the use of a proprietary patented technology of vacuum adhesion. Invert Robotics has successfully engaged with customers representing the most recognisable global brands across the food production, chemical, pharmaceutical and aerospace industries, such as Roche, Bayer, Nestle, Danon, as well as KLM and AirFrance. By investing in Invert Robotics, ORLEN VC joined the group of leading international investors, including: Inception Asset Management of Australia, Finistere Ventures of the US, and Yamaha Motor Exploratory Fund.

ORLEN VC’s second indirect investment was in the UK-based Environmental Technologies Fund. ETF ranks among Europe’s leading funds investing in industrial and technology companies with a focus on energy transition, future mobility or green connectivity. Thus, ORLEN VC is among a large number of global funds that have decided to entrust their capital to ETF, including Komatsu, Bosch, Saint Gobain and IREON Ventures.

In addition to the projects discussed above, ORLEN VC’s investment focus is on the following industries: petrochemicals, energy (transition, efficiency, digitalisation, renewables, storage), circular economy (recycling, waste management), cybersecurity, modern retail (automation of purchasing processes and digitalisation of sales and logistics), next-generation biofuels, advanced materials, new mobility, digitalisation (software, IOT), and industry 4.0.