On this week’s Smart Energy Finances radar: a successful Series A funding round for Rocsys, which has been developing an autonomous EV charging solution; Dublin-based Veritone’s acquisition of an AI-driven energy optimisation solution; an expansive Series B for a VPP provider; and an acquisition to bolster Sagemcom’s position in the French water and electrical distribution markets.
Series A for autonomous EV charging
Rocsys, a developer of autonomous charging solutions for electric transportation, has announced a $36 million Series A funding round.
Rocsys combines soft robotics, AI-based computer vision and data-driven services to adapt existing chargers into an autonomous system that can plug in and out without manual intervention.
According to the Dutch company, the solution removes the risk of operator errors, ensures regulatory compliance and vehicle uptime and minimises damage and human exposure to high-voltage equipment.
They add how the solution works for consumer and fleet vehicles, including port equipment, industrial applications, heavy-duty and more.
Led by SEB Greentech Venture Capital, the round includes participation from Graduate Entrepreneur, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and returning investor Forward.One.
With the investment, which includes a roughly equal split of debt and equity financing, Rocsys will expand the capabilities of its platform as it scales up its presence in the US and Europe.
“There’s too much friction in the EV charging process today, creating needless barriers to sustainable transportation,” said Rocsys Co-founder and CEO Crijn Bouman.
“That’s why we created a technology-agnostic solution that converts any charger into a fully automated experience, maximising the return on investment and sustainability impact of already-installed charging infrastructure. With this Series A funding, we’re bringing this breakthrough solution to more customers and industries worldwide.”
The capital infusion will support research and development into additional features for the platform, which include intelligent parking guidance, expanded software integrations for vehicle navigation and fleet management systems and additional remote diagnostics and teleoperations support.
Rocsys also plans to build out its North American division, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, to further support application engineering and customer service in the region while expanding local supply chain and manufacturing activities.
As part of the round, Rocsys welcomes four new members to its Board of Advisors, including Mikko Huumo of SEB, Frederik Gerner, and Jan Willem Friso of Forward.One, and new chairperson Dr Gregor Matthies.
Ireland’s GridBeyond acquires Veritone Inc Energy Business
Through an acquisition, Veritone Energy’s acumen and energy management solutions have been integrated into Irish tech developer GridBeyond.
California-based Veritone develops software that uses AI for energy forecasting, optimisation, and control, aiming to unlock the full potential of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) while enhancing reliability.
Dublin-headquartered GridBeyond, on the other hand, develops a technology platform that provides real-time optimisation of distributed assets across a range of industries and asset types.
The acquisition sees Veritone’s extensive portfolio of such AI-powered solutions integrated into the Irish business. It is also a strong growth signal for GridBeyond, expanding its capabilities in the US.
The combination of the two technologies will allow GridBeyond to offer more functionalities to its customers through a new design platform, which they describe as “an extremely accurate forecasting technology” in a press release announcing the acquisition.
One particular combination is that of Veritone’s aiWARE Enterprise platform, which utilises AI forecasting to boost profit from DERs, into GridBeyond’s virtual power plant (VPP) platform.
Equity capital for a VPP
In the realm of VPPs, Leap, a software platform that aggregates DERs and connects them into VPPs, has secured a new capital raise totalling $12 million in equity financing.
The California-based company utilises customer meter points – to date connecting over 70,000 in the US – to facilitate automated access to energy markets.
Assets such as battery storage systems, EV charging points, smart thermostats, building management systems and other DERs are connected, with the aim of easing the process for technology providers and operators to earn revenue in demand response and other grid services programmes.
Leap co-founder and CEO Thomas Folker, commented on the successful finances: “With this new investment, we will continue to add high-value features to our platform, grow our network of technology partners and expand our value stack across geographies as we advance our mission to decarbonise the world’s electric grids.”
“Distributed energy resources are a growing priority for both consumers and utilities. With Leap’s unique ability to monetise all types of assets — from energy storage to electric vehicles to building management systems — it is a market maker in an increasingly crowded field,” said Standard Investments’ Logan Ashcraft, who was named to Leap’s board of directors.
The funding round was led by Standard Investments with participation by DNV Ventures and Sustainable Future Ventures as well as existing Leap investors, including Union Square Ventures, Congruent Ventures and National Grid Partners.
An acquisition to bolster ultrasonic water meter readings
French industrial group Sagemcom, which develops broadband communication and energy solutions, has acquired Odit-e, a French digital player specialising in AI solutions for the planning, operation and maintenance of low-voltage drinking water electrical distribution networks.
The acquisition enables Sagemcom to broaden its range of software solutions (namely the Siconia software suite) for network managers, relying on Odit-e for the analysis of data collected by smart meters and sensors installed in the networks.
According to Sagemcom, the Siconia technology offering includes a range of ultrasonic smart water meters to control, monitor and manage water use in residential and industrial environments.
Odit-e’s solutions, utilising smart meter-gathered data, aims to inform decision making for DSOs, through ‘Physics informed AI’ algorithms.
Thus, through the acquisition, Sagemcom is aiming to strengthen its position in the electricity and water distribution markets.
In a release announcing the acquisition, Patrick Sevian, Sagemcom president commented on how the deal “strengthens our expertise in energy transition and enables us to meet the growing needs of energy and water distribution operators.
“By combining the skills of Odit-e and Sagemcom, we are convinced that we will be able to offer ever more innovative and efficient industrial solutions to our customers.”
Smart Energy International