i-EM to raise EUR 5m to finance international expansion

Interview 10 October

i-EM to raise EUR 5m to finance international expansion

Italy-based i-EM, which develops energy-management solutions, is looking to raise EUR 5m to finance its international expansion, CEO Ciro Lanzetta and founder and President Emilio Simeone said in a joint interview.

The company, which generates approximately EUR 1m revenue and is cash-flow positive, aims to close the round by the end of the first quarter of 2024, Lanzetta said.

To raise the funds, i-EM will target strategic investors looking to expand into the renewable energy space, such as large oil and gas players, Simeone said. It will also consider financial investors with a long-term investment horizon, he added.

Investors from the UK and the US are welcome as they would help i-EM to grow in those regions as well as in the Commonwealth countries, Lanzetta said. Management relies on its network to identify investors, Simeone said.

A minority stake is available to the investors, Lanzetta said. The company has an external valuation of approximately EUR 20m, based on its technology and growth potential, he added.

Flyby, an Italian developer of advanced software solutions for defence and security, energy management and healthcare, is i-EM’s sole owner, Simeone said. He is also the founder and owner of Flyby, which was established in 2001 and generates revenues of approximately EUR 4m with 50 employees, he added.

In 2021, Flyby bought back a 30% stake in i-EM from ENEL [BIT:ENEL], which had invested in 2014, he said. The Enel group remains one of i-EM’s more important customers, he added.

Approximately 60% of the new capital will be invested in expanding in countries such as India, Australia, South Africa and Canada, where i-EM has already carried out projects, and in the US, Lanzetta said. The mid-term plan is to set up subsidiaries in the US and Australia, he said, adding that right now, besides the headquarters in Italy, the company has a subsidiary in the UK.

The remaining 40% will be invested in further R&D in fields such as smart-grid simulation and management, services for e-mobility grid integration, forecasting services for energy trading and others, he said.

The company also plans to hire 26 people between technical and sales staff in the next three years, he said. Its team is made up of 10 to 12 people at present, he added.

i-EM provides energy management solutions for energy- generation, storage, transmission, and efficiencies. Its customers include Enel Green Power, Duferco Energy, Nidec, Terna, ABB and Repower.

The company’s technology is used in 1,000 solar, wind and hydro plants with a total installed capacity of more than 20 MW in more than 20 countries, according to a company presentation.

i-EM operates in several sectors and its competitors vary according to the sector, Lazetta said. Among them, he named Spanish companies Green Power Monitoring, Meteologica and Alea Soft, German players meteocontrol and Voith, Belgian 3E, and US-based Energy Exemplar.

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