Yesterday LO3 Energy announced the first close of its $11 million Series B led by existing investor Shell Ventures. The funding will be used to further develop Pando, the solution that uses blockchain to create a community renewable energy marketplace for distributed energy resources (DERs) such as solar panels.
A new investor is Japan’s Shikoku Electric Power, which joins existing shareholders Braemar Energy Ventures, Sumitomo Corporation, Centrica, and others, increasing their investment. This brings LO3’s total backing to $17.6 million, which is impressive for a company that currently has sales of just under $1 million (according to the Nikkei).
“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 provides a white label solution that enables electricity grids to add a consumer app and marketplace so that users can choose renewables and even provide energy to the grid from their own solar panels.
Pando 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,” said Collins.
One of LO3’s highest profile projects was its first, a community microgrid in Brooklyn, New York. It’s executed projects elsewhere in the U.S., Europe, Australia, and with industrial conglomerate Marubeni and Kyocera Corporation in Japan.
“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.
Two other startups in the space are Energy Web and PowerLedger. And another project to watch is EQUIGY which brings together four European electricity firms that power girds in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Italy.