Zürich, Switzerland: Cleantech venture capital pioneer Emerald Technology Ventures has invested into Colibri Energy, a maker of batteries for airport logistics vehicles. The funding round, which was joined by Nabtesco Technology Ventures (NTV) and ABN AMRO Sustainable Impact Fund, will help the company grow its presence in airports around the world.
Germany-based Colibri makes modular, low-maintenance lithium-ion battery packs for so-called airside vehicles like forklifts and pallet handlers. It pairs these with an easy-to-use software platform that allows operators and energy managers wide-ranging visibility over their vehicles, helping them save time and money.
The global aviation industry faces immense pressure to decarbonize, and airside logistics ranks among the lowest-hanging fruit of this endeavor. Electrifying these vehicles will likely foster growth in the market for industrial batteries, potentially helping it reach $27 billion by 2027, up from $17 billion in 2019.
Colibri sells to both vehicle makers as well as directly to fleet owners like airports. Its batteries are currently found in 22 airports around the world, a figure it hopes to scale rapidly.
Emerald has a long and robust track record in deals meant to speed the energy transition, including in batteries. Recent energy-related investments include in battery materials innovator NanoGraf and wind turbine service provider eologix. The Colibri deal helps it secure a slice of a vital and fast-growing segment of the global net-zero race.
Japan-based NTV is one of Emerald’s corporate venture capital-as-a-service clients. Under this arrangement, Emerald manages NTV’s deal flow and advises it on the best investments to match its needs and strategic priorities.