ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--3M New Ventures – the corporate venture arm of 3M – announced an equity
stake in Toronto-based Smart Energy Instruments (SEI), a move that will
further accelerate SEI’s efforts in developing electronic chipsets with
high-precision, real-time monitoring capabilities for smart grids, as
well as give 3M a bigger presence in the energy sector.
The investment from 3M New Ventures comes as several existing
stakeholders also bolstered their equity in SEI, including Venturelink
Funds, ArcTern Ventures and the Ontario Capital Growth Corp. Together,
the financing round, led by 3M New Ventures, totaled $5 million (or $5.6
million Canadian dollars). Other details of the transaction were not
“We are honored that 3M is joining our team of investors,” said SEI CEO
Jeff Dionne. “We’ve hit several key milestones in our company’s growth,
and the utility market is now primed to take full advantage of our smart
grid technologies. We see 3M as an important strategic partner to
jointly develop and commercialize innovative solutions for utilities and
electrical equipment manufacturers.”
SEI’s technology platform is based on a core set of chips with
unprecedented measurement precision and low-power consumption that can
be integrated into today’s intelligent electronic devices. It gives
equipment manufacturers and utilities a huge competitive edge in
functions such as grid load monitoring, fault detection and isolation.
“SEI’s unique technology will strengthen 3M’s leadership in the energy
sector and enable the development of ubiquitous infrastructure sensing
and monitoring solutions,” added Stefan Gabriel, president of 3M New
Aging grid infrastructures and the surge in renewable energy sources –
particularly solar and wind – are driving the need for more precise
monitoring devices. 3M’s Electronics and Energy Business Group is
building new platforms for greater relevance to the energy sector, and
SEI’s chips will be a key part of 3M’s portfolio for grid automation.
“We are impressed with SEI’s forward-thinking approach to the utility
marketplace,” said Robert Visser, vice president of research &
development of 3M’s Electronics and Energy Business Group. “We now have
the opportunity to support a new standard for multi-dimensional
electrical measurements in the utility industry.”
According to Navigant Research, cumulative worldwide electric utility
spending on asset management and condition monitoring systems will total
close to $50 billion from 2014 to 2023.
3M New Ventures, the corporate venture arm of 3M, identifies and invests
in innovative, high-growth companies working on technologies and
business models with strategic relevance for 3M's businesses. With staff
located in EMEA, the Americas and Asia Pacific, 3M New Ventures scouts
globally for the most promising opportunities and manages a portfolio of
over 23 investments to date. For more information, visit www.3M.com/newventures.
About Smart Energy Instruments
SEI develops game-changing,
synchronous measurement technologies for the burgeoning smart grid to
address today’s global energy environment. The company is based in
Toronto, with offices in Tokyo, Japan and Silicon Valley. For more
information, visit www.se-instruments.com.
3M captures the spark of new ideas and transforms
them into thousands of ingenious products. Our culture of creative
collaboration inspires a never-ending stream of powerful technologies
that make life better. 3M is the innovation company that never stops
inventing. With $31 billion in sales, 3M employs 89,000 people worldwide
and has operations in more than 70 countries. For more information,
or follow @3MNews on Twitter.