(YPF, 8.Jul.2019) — YPF announced the launch of YPF Ventures, a corporate venture capital fund that will expand YPF’s influence into emerging energy businesses. YPF is one of Latin America’s largest energy companies with $15B in revenue and 21 thousand employees.
YPF Ventures is distinct from other corporate energy venture funds in that it combines a typical early stage venture capital fund with a growth equity vehicle. This second vehicle helps innovative energy companies in the US expand into Latin America by leveraging YPF’s role as an energy leader with a significant retail footprint and in-market presence in Latin America. The two funds operate as follows:
— The bridge fund links the hubs where energy innovation takes place (starting with the San Francisco Bay Area) and Latin America. Through this model, YPF is able to put its full weight as a Latin American leader behind its portfolio companies, which in turn helps attract the world’s top innovation to YPF.
— The seed fund, on the other hand, seeks to build and promote an ecosystem of innovation in Latin America. This fund will double the available capital for cleantech entrepreneurs in Latin America (currently only $2M a year). The Seed Fund leverages local top engineering talent and the hundreds of millions in energy R&D by local governments to unshackle Latin America’s entrepreneurial talent.
“To lead an energy business in the current environment, we need to stay ahead of the curve and combine vision and innovation, two key assets that will enable us to deepen our purpose and change the lives of Argentines through energy,” stated Miguel Gutiérrez, President of YPF. “With the launch of YPF Ventures, we will be able to attract innovation to Latin America while also playing a relevant role in promoting the ecosystem of Argentine entrepreneurial talent.”
YPF Ventures has already invested in two companies:
— Sustentator, Argentina’s distributed solar generation leader. Sustentator is YPF’s first step in a market that brings the energy company to the homes of its customers.
— Bird Technologies, a leading company in urban micro-mobility. Bird provides short distance personal mobility services by distributing electric scooters in big cities. YPF Ventures’ investment in Bird aims to speed up the platform’s expansion in Latin America while placing YPF at the forefront of trends in mobility.
YPF Ventures is led by Managing Director Tomas Ocampo, a former entrepreneur who earned an MBA from Stanford University in 2015 and an MS in Energy from Stanford in 2016. Sergio Giorgi, YPF’s head of Business Development, Strategy and Investor Relations, serves as President for the fund.
“Like oil exploration, a venture capital fund enables us to perform high-risk testing with low capital investment and the potential to unlock high value in a short time period. YPF Ventures captures and keeps the entrepreneurial spirit of our company, imprinting it on the current trends of innovation and technological disruption,” stated Daniel González, CEO of YPF.