The only constant is change: CM Ventures @ Petronas Innovation Day
Kuala Lumpur, September 2022 - Dr Patrick Berbon, Managing Partner at CM Venture, discussed ‘change’ at the annual Petronas Innovation Day conference. The conference was organized by the Petronas’ innovation team, also an investor in CM Venture fund 3.
In his presentation titled ‘The Changing Landscapes’, Dr. Berbon shared CM Venture’s point of view on today’s unpredictable marketplace.
With strong interests in Asia and the West, CM Venture’s global mindset is represented in its diverse portfolio of hard-tech companies which focus on a cleaner and more sustainable future.
Dr. Berbon shared insights on the Chinese hard-tech industry, with these highlights:
• Since 2021, the Chinese government has applied unprecedented regulatory tightening in numerous sectors of the economy, such as e-commerce (restrictions on Alibaba), gaming (impacting Tencent), private education (closing numerous private schools), and the shared economy (Meituan and Didi). However, advanced materials and sustainable technologies have been minimally impacted;
• Advanced Materials are becoming a mainstream Venture Capital sector in China, as they are essential to many of the Chinese government hard-tech priorities;
• An ever-changing materials landscape supports a cleaner, healthier and sustainable future, while an ever-changing energy landscape supports electrification, hydrogen and bio-to-energy;
• In the world of energy generation, there is a fundamental shift from energy-from-resource to energy-from-manufacturing. This will shift power from resource-rich countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Russia, to manufacturing-rich countries, such as China and the USA. China is by far the world leader in Photovoltaic (PV) panels manufacturing and in PV panels installation. It is also quickly building up Electric Vehicles (EV) [BYD, NIO] and battery (CATL, BYD) manufacturing capabilities;
• Related to materials, the global popularity of EVs is driving strong growth of the compound semiconductor market – in particular, Silicon Carbide (SiC) high-voltage, high-power, and high-speed switches;
• A wave of digital transformation nationwide calls for intelligent and autonomous solutions.
Based on these insights, CM Venture’s hand-picked portfolio of companies and startups possess a range of exclusive and innovative technologies:
• Econic, with its unique catalyst technology that incorporates CO2 in Polyol production, creating customizable CO2 polyols to improve the performance of adhesives, elastomers, rigid foams and more;
• Zenithnano, a transparent conductor manufacturer that develops flexible transparent sheets for a wide range of applications, such as displays, solar cells, autos and more. It currently offers the world’s top-performing transparent conductor product;
• Global Power Technologies, China’s leading SiC semiconductor manufacturing company;
• CSMH, which develops world-class diamond heat sinks- the thermal conductivity of diamond is 5 times higher than copper;
• Guofu Hydrogen, China’s leader in hydrogen station and fuel cell equipment manufacturer;
• Enwise, deploying a technology to turn organic waste into biogas and energy. Their unique system contributed to a 40% carbon reduction at a PepsiCo Wuhan plant;
• iRock, a 3D rock pore scale modeling system that allows customers to optimize oil field production, through a detailed understanding of oil flows through oil field analyses;
• Skysys, which provides fully-automated drone charging and data handling stations, and a full suite of software solutions for drones in inspection, surveillance and monitoring roles;
• eChiev, which delivers intelligent autonomous driving solutions for special purpose vehicles, such as people carriers or delivery vehicles;
• Thingple, which develops digital transformation products and solutions for the chemical industry to deliver greener, safer, trackable and more efficient processes.
Patrick also shared CM Venture’s overall strategy to drive consistent performance:
1) Inflection point - investing at the right time for maximum growth
2) Taking significant positions - CM takes significant equity shares to create value towards successful exits
3) Investing in leaders & disruptors - CM invests in industry leaders and potential disruptors which revolutionize industries
4) Open entrepreneurship - CM connects portfolio companies with MNCs and industry partners to form collaborative relationships for faster growth
5) Capital efficiency - CM assists portfolio companies to leverage government resources for non-dilutive financing
World view - CM invests in Asia and North America to bring global perspectives for companies and industries
With change as the only constant in today’s landscape, the best way to deal with it is to evolve with it. At CM Venture, we’re constantly evolving to stay ahead of innovations and breakthroughs as they happen. Ideas are everywhere, and identifying them for futuristic applications calls for a clear vision and a strong persistence to realize them.