23. 11. 2015

ČEZ Continues with Investments in German Market via INVEN CAPITAL

INVEN CAPITAL has acquired a minority stake in Sunfire, a company developing and industrialising the most progressive energy technologies that help reduce CO2 emissions and develop decentralized energy generation. ČEZ has thus joined forces with other venture capital funds sponsored by EDF and Total as well as with KfW, a German state-owned development bank.

“By investing in Sunfire, we continue developing our activities in decentralized energy generation and renewables. In addition, their unique technology helps solve the emission problem by reducing CO2 in the atmosphere,” says Daniel Beneš, CEO at ČEZ. Sunfire’s flagship product is globally unique reversible fuel cell technology, which is able to convert a fuel (such as natural gas) into electricity and heat as well as electricity back into hydrogen and other gases (Power-to-Gas) or synthetic fuels (Power-to-Liquids). This technology represents a major step toward greater energy self-supply and improved efficiency in the utilization of energy sources.

Sunfire’s solution:

  • Replaces conventional fossil fuels with synthetic fuels, achieving carbon neutrality
  • Supports deployment of renewable energy sources by being able to convert excess renewable electricity into gas
  • Develops decentralized energy generation by means of small, fuel cell-based CHP units, which will replace conventional gas-fired boilers and have much lower CO2 emissions

“The investment in Sunfire has met our strict selection criteria by both the uniqueness of their technology, which allows faster commercialization than competitive products, and their business model involving partners with an extensive customer base,” says Petr Míkovec, CEO at INVEN CAPITAL. And Nils Aldag, one of the founders of Sunfire, adds: “We have found an ideal strategic partner in INVEN CAPITAL to strengthen our position in Central and Eastern European markets. The new capital allows us to accelerate the industrialization of our products, which could become one of the pillars of the future decentralized energy system.”

Sunfire GmbH was founded in Dresden in 2010 and very soon established itself as a trusted partner of global companies such as The Boeing Company, Vaillant, and AUDI, with whom they have been developing customer-specific system solutions. Some of Sunfire’s most recent successes are:

  • Successful development and refinement of high-temperature electrolysis using reversible solid oxide cells (RSOC) in collaboration with The Boeing Company
  • Successful implementation and refinement of SOFC technology used in Vaillant fuel cell heating devices within the framework of national and international field tests
  • Ceremonial opening and commissioning of a Power-to-Liquids demonstration rig, where the tank of the official car of Dr. Johanna Wanka, Federal Minister of Education and Research, was filled with synthetic diesel (April 2015)
  • Delivery of a 50-kilowatt high-temperature solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) to ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems as part of the e4ships project (August 2015)
  • Winner of the Industry category at Energy Awards 2015 (October 2015)


INVEN CAPITAL is a venture capital arm of ČEZ, the largest utility in Central and Eastern Europe. INVEN CAPITAL’s strategy is to identify opportunities for investing in innovative cleantech firms in Europe. It targets later stage growth opportunities with business model proven by sales and with significant growth potential. INVEN CAPITAL’s objective is to generate long-term value by actively cooperating with the management of the companies in which it invests and by actively supporting strategies for organic and/or acquisition growth. INVEN CAPITAL’s portfolio companies can take advantage of ČEZ’s extensive energy sector expertise, its customer base, and technology synergies.

INVEN CAPITAL has recently acquired a stake in Sonnenbatterie, a German company developing, manufacturing, and selling intelligent power storage systems. With its unique and reliable solution, the Bavaria-based company is the world’s leader in technologies for storing electricity from solar panels and other renewable energy sources for households and commercial customers.