Bp makes $20m investment in solar provider 5B Holdings

Bp ventures has made a $20 million investment in 5B Holdings, an Australian renewable company with technology that enables rapid deployment of solar power at scale.

Bp ventures was set up more than 10 years ago to identify and invest in private, high growth, game changing technology companies, accelerating innovation across the entire energy spectrum. Since then, bp has invested more than $1 billion in technology companies with more than 250 co-investors.

Bp ventures focuses on connecting and growing new energy business. It makes strategic equity investments across a portfolio of relevant technology businesses including advanced mobility, low carbon and digital.

The $20m investment in 5B will support bp’s renewable energy transition growth engine and is another strand of its multi-energy vector country strategy that will support the decarbonisation of energy in Australia.

The deal closes 5B’s $55 million Series B funding round, which was co-led by existing investors The AES Corporation and Artesian.

5B’s leading solar technology, the 5B Maverick, consists of up to 90 solar panels mounted on specially designed frames that can be unfolded and installed at speed. To date, 5B has deployed its technology across more than 100 sites worldwide with total generating capacity of over 60MW.

The capital injection from bp ventures will support 5B’s technology development and growth. It will also accelerate 5B’s international expansion, and its plans to establish a manufacturing and assembly hub in North America.

Johnathan Stone, Principal at bp ventures, who will join the 5B board of directors said 5B’s innovative solar technology can deliver low-cost power generation at speed, helping to meet rising electricity demand.

“We are delighted to be making an important contribution to 5B’s Series B funding round and look forward to helping them accelerate their expansion through collaboration with various parts of our business.”

Bp’s gas and low carbon energy business and 50-50 joint venture, Lightsource bp, together with 5B will explore the best opportunities to collaborate on the deployment of 5B’s Maverick technology on future bp and Lightsource bp projects. All three companies will continue to work on deploying solar energy to meet the rising demand for reliable, accessible, and affordable electricity.

Chris McGrath, 5B Co-Founder and CEO, said it’s encouraging to see bp’s transition to renewable energy and 5B looks forward to helping accelerate that effort.

“Collaborating with bp ventures and the broader bp businesses offers us a wealth of global commercial and operational expertise. It presents a great opportunity to deploy our 5B Maverick technology across a range of global markets. The backing of such an active and experienced venture capital team is a powerful validation of our technology and ability to support bp as it transitions to an integrated energy company.”

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