Energy Storage Startup Speed Pitch: FreeWire, UtilityAPI, Axiom Exergy
The roster of energy storage startups is getting larger and more diversified by the month.
GTM’s Julian Spector just published a pretty comprehensive list of the companies that launched their first U.S. energy storage product in 2016. And as long as we’re listing energy storage companies, here’s a glimpse of the startup speed pitch session at the recent Energy Storage Summit.
(Video archives of that event are available to Squared members.)
Elena Lucas, co-founder and CEO of UtilityAPI, has been working on smoothing the transfer of customer electricity usage data from the utility to the solar installer. Her company is now doing the same for the storage industry.
She suggests, “Imagine you’re evaluating a hotel for energy storage and you need historic billing and usage data and demand charges to figure out” if the site is a candidate for energy storage. “Getting that data is messy,” according to Lucas — “messy, manual and time-consuming.”..
“We are automating that entire process, reducing the friction of data collection for energy storage, and for solar and energy-efficiency baselining,” she said.
UtilityAPI’s software makes data collection seamless by “allowing would-be customers to authorize the release of their data simply by filling in a few boxes on an online portal,” said Lucas. From there, its application programming interfaces (APIs) can pull data from utility smart meter databases and back-office billing systems, and translate it into formats that companies need to determine which customers are a right fit for storage and which aren’t.
“Without this data, the industry can’t grow,” concluded Lucas.
The Oakland, Calif.-based startup has already integrated with California’s big three investor-owned utilities — Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric.
Axiom Exergy’s president and co-founder Amrit Robbins spoke of “refrigeration batteries” as an energy storage solution for supermarkets. “We take a fundamentally different approach — rather than sell stacks of batteries, we transform the world’s cooling infrastructure into intelligent connected energy storage assets.”
Robbins notes his firm has “$6 million in sales…to major national supermarket chains.”
The firm has 13 employees and has raised more than $3.5 million in funding from investors including Element 8 Fund, Victory Capital, the MIT Angels, Propel(x), the Sierra Angels, Tesla CTO JB Straubel, and other undisclosed investors.