Portland, US based LO3 Energy has announced the first close of its $11 million Series B led by existing investor Shell Ventures. The money will go towards further development of Pando, LO3 Energys blockchain based solution that creates a marketplace for renewable energy at a community level. The latest infusion sees LO3’s total fund raising hit $17.6 million, for a firm that is still at a very early stage of proving a market fit for its offerings.
Energy trading for distributed generators or microgrids at a small scale has been in the limelight, especially with start ups like Australia’s PowerLedger and the Switzerland based Energy Web also taking aim at the same market. Another Europe based firm in the market is EQUIGY, which is working with four European electricity firms operating in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Italy.
For the LO3 funding round, Japan’s Shikoku Electric Power, has been added in the current round, along with existing investors Braemar Energy Ventures, Sumitomo Corporation, Centrica, and others. “The company has moved from being a small startup to an established operator in the rapidly growing area of grid management,” said Bill Collins, LO3 Energy co-founder and CEO. “This capital will provide us with the opportunity to scale rapidly both within the USA and internationally.”
LO3 , Pando solution enables grid operators to “offer their customers new energy solutions while also helping them to impact and account for the way energy is generated, consumed, stored and sold across the grid,” according to Collins.
The firm has been noticed for its first project in New York, where it set up a community micro grid in Brooklyn.
“We are seeing the transition of global energy markets to more decentralized, distributed systems and the development of platforms that will provide new forms of consumer participation,” said Kirk Coburn, Investment Director, Shell Ventures.
Community based distributed energy projects offer a very elegant market based solution to get more out of renewable energy installations, especially solar plants or systems. Pilot projects are being tried in India too. In nearby Bangladesh, we had covered how Solshare is making a big impact.