Nomura lays down pipe and wire deals

Tokyo-based investment bank Nomura has amassed a handful of pipe and cable infrastructure-related cleantech investments, recently adding flexible pipe maker DeepFlex, materials company Novinium and pipecoating company Sub-One Technology to its portfolio.

Nomura Private Equity, the investment arm of the bank, invested in Houston-based DeepFlex’s $33 million Series C round. Other investors included Heico Acquisitions, Promon International, Altira Group, Energy Ventures and CTTV Investments, the venture arm of Chevron Technology Ventures. The company boasts that its technology may be able to help oil and gas companies lay more flexible and resistant pipes. If the technology works, it may be able to reduce the cost of maintaining pipes, which undergo the highest strain at their joints.

Meanwhile, Kent, Wash.-based Novinium makes fluids and injection tools to support underground infrastructure. The company has focused on underground cables and claims it can increase the lifespan of such cables by up to 40 years. Nomura invested in the startup’s $6 million Series C investment, bringing Novinium’s capital raised to $10 million.

Nomura backed Pleasanton, Calif.-based Sub-One Technology in February. The startup has developed a pipe coating that protects the insides of pipes from corrosive chemicals. Sub-One Technology’s coating promises to keep oil and gas flowing. The company estimates that $8 billion is spent annually by industrial concerns to deal with the effects of pipe corrosion.

Sub-One President Andy Tudhope considered Nomura as a strategic investor, thanks to its investment banking relations across Asia. “We were looking to do a strategic round with people who could help us broaden our base into other industries,” he says.

Nomura, along with GE Energy Financial Services, Advanced Technology Ventures and Chevron Technology Ventures came together on a $24 million Series C investment for Sub-One.

Advanced Technology Ventures General Partner Wes Raffel says he brought the firm into the deal after he saw the size of the energy infrastructure market.

“There are approximately 2.1 million miles of pipelines in the U.S. alone, transporting natural gas, crude oil, petroleum and other products,” he said in a statement when his firm first invested in the company. “If a refinery goes down, every minute is a tremendous hit to revenue and profits.”

It’s a realization that Nomura has evidently come to as well. —Alexander Haislip