Created in 2013, ALIAD (Air Liquide Venture Capital) aims to take minority stakes in innovative start-ups in three sectors: energy transition, health and digital. ALIAD positions itself on the technologies of the future by supporting start-ups to develop. These investments are going hand in hand with technological and/or business agreements between these companies and the entities of the Air Liquide Group.
Widening our range of horizons
Each investment is a new story for Air Liquide and contribute to develop new markets and new offers for our customers, supporting our long term ambition and vision. These partnerships with start-ups widen our range of horizons, making the Group work with a different ecosystem and working culture. Strong of its close to 10-year legacy, ALIAD is a recognized actor of the Venture Capital world, with an effective business and financial model and reiterates its ambition to play its role to support Air Liquide beyond traditional boundaries via innovation and a clear focus on clean techs.
Since its creation in 2013, ALIAD has invested in more than 35 start-ups. Amongst the success stories of the fund, Waga Energy and Inpria are two examples of the value that Air Liquide creates with start-ups via Venture Capital investments.
Waga Energy: an ALIAD supported start-up on the Euronext regulated market
In 2015 three engineers from the Air Liquide group founded Waga Energy. As the Venture Capital Arm of the Group, ALIAD invested in Waga Energy the same year and has supported since then the start-up in the development of its biogas epuration technology, a market which can support the reduction of Green House Gases by a range of 30 to 90%. Waga Energy has since then established itself as a specialist in the recovery of landfill gas in the form of biogas. As an innovative company, Waga Energy has developed a purification technology recognized on the market, combining membrane filtration and cryogenic distillation. Waga Energy invests, builds and operates its purification units, called WAGABOX®, within the framework of long-term partnerships with storage site operators and energy providers.
On October 26, 2021, Waga Energy announced the closing of its IPO on the Euronext regulated market in Paris. This step rewards Waga Energy efforts to innovate and industrialize a solution that contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in a biogas market which is complementary to the Air Liquide’s offer.
"The Waga’s story illustrates well ALIAD’s purpose: develop innovations and support start-ups towards the industrialization of new greentech offers. We are very proud of what has been accomplished for the sake of the environment!” explains Vincent Brillault, ALIAD Managing Director.
INPRIA, another success in the race for smaller nodes in the Electronics industry
Inpria was founded in 2007 as a spin-out of Oregon State University’s Department of Chemistry. With unparalleled etch selectivity, Inpria products enable a more effective process for Extreme UltraViolet lithography, a process used to manufacture the latest generation of high performance logic and memory semiconductor chips. Inpria has recently brought online its high-volume manufacturing plant to support initial production thanks to the work carried out by a diverse team with decades of experience working at organizations throughout the semiconductor industry.
With the support of Air Liquide’s Electronics business line, ALIAD has been an investor in INPRIA since 2015, alongside major stakeholders of the Electronics world such as Samsung, Intel, Applied Materials, JSR, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC) or SK hynix. Inpria also partnered with Air Liquide Advanced Materials (ALAM), for the scaleup of its materials manufacturing process.
Inpria reached important commercial and technical milestones with multiple leading customers that convinced JSR to acquire the company in September 2021. JSR, a leading supplier of photoresist chemicals and services to the semiconductor industry, was already a minority shareholder in INPRIA before the acquisition.
"Through this partnership, Air Liquide has demonstrated once again its stewardship in new technologies in a field in which the Group has a strong position: Electronics and the supply of invisible molecules enabling the infinitely small", concludes Vincent Brillault.