BP Ventures has increased its portfolio of smart technologies through participation in a Series A funding round of AI tech firm Grid Edge.
Grid Edge has developed cloud-based software that can predict, control and optimise a building’s energy profile. It can therefore help commercial consumers to reduce their energy costs, as well as their emissions by typically 10 to 15%, although some users have been able to reduce them by as much as 30%.
Digital technologies such as Grid Edge's software are a “critical component” in the energy transition to a low-carbon future, according to Nacho Gimenez, managing director of BP Ventures.
“Using data, we can unlock the flexibility in-built in existing energy systems. This is the most efficient way to reduce the carbon intensity and power consumption required to keep buildings comfortable. Grid Edge’s machine learning and data-driven approach is what really sets them apart. We look forward to working closely together and welcoming them to the BP Ventures family,” he said.
The start-up grew out of Aston University, and uses everything from weather forecasts and expected occupancy to make usage predictions for buildings such as airports and shopping centres.
Tom Anderson, chief executive at Grid Edge said: “It is only a few short years since the founding partners left Aston University to pursue our vision of putting data-driven, intelligent control into the hands of energy consumers and we’re proud to be working with some of the UK’s leading building operators to optimise their energy profile through our predictive AI technology.
“We are delighted to have brought on board two world-leading investors who believe in our vision and share our ambitions to change the way people use energy.” Grid Edge is to use the finance to expand its operations in the UK and launch an expansion drive into European markets.
BP's involvement in the funding round comes within a raft of investments in new energy technology companies from the oil and gas major, principally out of its Alternative Energy division. Major investments and acquisitions have included the likes of solar developer Lightsource and EV charging specialist Chargemaster as BP has looked to diversify its energy offering.
Dev Sanyal, chief executive of BP Alternative Energy, said: “This investment is in support of our strategy to create an ecosystem of distinctive, digitally-enabled, low carbon businesses for commercial and industrial customers. This investment in Grid Edge complements other recent investments in companies in this area, such as Voltaware. We are excited by the possibilities that working together will bring.”
BP Ventures is joined in the funding round by family office investment house Goldacre, which is developing its portfolio of future city investments.