Macquarie Capital bets on InfraTech with new venture

The firm has teamed with R/GA on an initiative to boost companies offering innovative products in the transport, energy and utility space.

A new initiative launched by Macquarie Capital and R/GA Ventures – the investment arm of a New York-based advertising agency – will promote innovations in infrastructure technology.

The platform, called Macquarie Capital Venture Studio, will play a similar role to an accelerator or incubator. Macquarie will provide access to the firm’s network, while companies will also benefit from R/GA’s marketing expertise.

“[The studio] will help Macquarie engage entrepreneurs, connect clients with new solution providers, and support innovation,” said Michael Silverton, head of Macquarie Capital Americas. “We’re looking for entrepreneurs who have developed products and services that have the power to increase efficacy, efficiency, and sustainability across the entire sector.”

The firm is focused on finding energy innovators in areas including power, transportation, utilities, grid and energy storage. Blockchain, artificial intelligence and drone technologies are among those listed as possible considerations for the studio.

Applications for the studio have already opened, with the first module – or 14-week period – beginning in May. The studio will hold three modules over the course of a year, with each comprising three companies. The modules will include a product assessment and the formation of a business plan. The studios will be held at Macquarie and R/GA’s offices, both in New York. In Spring 2019, an event will be held for the companies to present their products to investors.

Macquarie is one of the world’s largest investors in infrastructure, with more than $110 billion in assets under management through its Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets platform. The studio, however, will not provide financing for the companies, though the programme may spur investments.