PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwire - Oct 29, 2012) - AutoGrid Systems, a leader in Big Data analytics and software services for empowering utilities and end-users to control their power consumption and costs, is proud to announce that it has raised $9 million in venture funding from leading investors in the Silicon Valley.
Foundation Capital, Voyager Capital and Stanford University all participated in the funding, which occurred in two rounds. Additionally, AutoGrid has also signed contracts worth more than $5 million with ARPA-E, the advanced projects research agency of the U.S. Department of Energy, and the California Energy Commission.
The company also today publicly introduced the Energy Data Platform (EDP), a highly scalable and secure software platform for mining the wealth of data from smart meters and other networked assets connected to the grid. In addition, the company unveiled the Demand Response Optimization and Management Systems (DROMS), a software-as-a-service demand response optimization and management platform that reduces the cost of implementing demand response by 90 percent while increasing the "yield" of these programs by 30 percent.
DROMS has already been integrated and used in demand response programs for City of Palo Alto Utilities and Sacramento Municipal Utilities District. (See separate release.)
"AutoGrid transforms data into actionable intelligence for both utilities and their customers. As an initial application, the technology will dramatically help expand how demand response programs are used by utilities and retail electricity providers in the nation and around the world," said Steve Vassallo, a partner at Foundation Capital. "We are thrilled with how quickly the company has started gaining customer traction in what is considered to be a challenging market."
AutoGrid applies Big Data technologies and predictive algorithms to help utilities, grid operators, and end-users harness the tsunami of data being generated by the smart meters, grid sensors, building energy management systems and other devices. Similar to recommendation engines for e-commerce sites or algorithms for predicting weather, EDP uses petabytes of structured and unstructured data to create forecasts of future consumption under normal and event conditions by examining ongoing trends, past consumption patterns and relationships between millions of interdependent variables. The system learns continuously and becomes more accurate as more data becomes available, and can optimize power distribution and consumption as it is used more and more.
"AutoGrid is creating the brains for the smart grid. If you can analyze all of the data, you can predict what the electrical parameters of the grid will be under any situation and use that to remove inefficiencies from the electricity supply chain," said Dan Ahn, managing director at Voyager Capital. "This is a huge, long-term opportunity to apply state-of-the-art big data analytics, with a disruptive business model, to transform a 100 year old industry."
The company's executive team brings together deep domain experience and a successful execution track record in diverse areas such as complex engineering system design and optimization, large-scale transaction systems, behavior-driven software application, communications, Internet advertising, revenue management and electric utilities business. Founder and CEO Dr. Amit Narayan served as the Director of Smart Grid Research in Modeling & Simulation at Stanford University from 2010 to 2012 and has successfully brought numerous cutting edge technologies to market over the years. Dr. Narayan founded Berkeley Design Automation and served as Vice President of Products at Magma Design Automation where he developed products that are used to design wireless communication and semiconductor systems. Over one-third of the semiconductors inside consumer electronics and smart phones were designed with tools developed by Dr. Narayan's team.
Other founding executives include Chief Software Architect Rajeev Singh, who has designed high-volume transactional systems for e-commerce, pharmaceutical, and airline and cargo customers, and CTO Chris Knudsen, who oversaw smart grid standards development at Pacific Gas & Electric. Andrew Tang, AutoGrid's vice president of business development and strategy, managed demand side management activities for PG&E including initiatives around smart meters, demand response, distributed generation and energy efficiency.
The company's first application, DROMS, is a highly scalable and secure, software application that reduces the cost of implementing a wide range of demand response and dynamic pricing programs such as direct load control, critical peak pricing, peak-time rebate and demand bidding programs. The cloud-based software can be deployed in weeks, not months or years, and provides the lowest cost, lowest risk option for utilities and electricity service providers to offer flexible demand management programs to their customers. Based on open protocols such as OpenADR, the industry-wide standard for automated demand response, DROMS can be economically implemented by service providers of all sizes, not just the large utilities or industrial facilities.
"The first wave of smart grid infrastructure investments helped utilities, industrial manufacturers, facility owners and grid operators to obtain data about power consumption, delivery and costs. AutoGrid's helps these customers take maximum advantage of this data to improve their operations, consume power more efficiently and make the overall system more reliable," said Dr. Narayan. "By getting rid of inefficiencies in the overall system, AutoGrid converts energy data into a new source of energy."
Founded in 2011, AutoGrid is dedicated to bringing the power of Big Data, predictive analytics and Internet scale computational techniques to the production and consumption of electricity. Serving utilities of all sizes, grid operators, electricity retailers, ESCO services companies, and end-users, AutoGrid develops and markets services that both help lower costs and improve reliability of the electricity supply chain. For more, please see our website or contact us.