WattBuy is an online electricity marketplace with the goal of empowering consumers to make smarter decisions about their electricity costs, allowing homeowners to browse and select plans in their area. It is a good idea, one that just raised $3.25 million in its Series A round of funding led by Evergy Ventures.
“These funds enable us to expand our turnkey API offering within market leading real estate platforms like Updater as well as personal finance companies and energy services businesses,” said Naman Trivedi, CEO and co-founder of WattBuy. “We’re enabling enterprises to launch their own renewable electricity marketplaces that can increase value to their existing customers.”
Why this is cool. Over the past two decades, several state governments have deregulated their electricity markets, allowing residents to choose who provides their electricity. Today, over 140 million Americans in 14 states can use WattBuy to choose among over 100 electricity providers and approximately 5,000 plans to find one that matches their preferences. On average, these residents could save $360 per year by selecting a less expensive electricity provider.
Company history. WattBuy’s Series A funding round follows the successful launch of the first ever calculator to estimate the electricity cost and carbon footprint impact for nearly every home in the United States. This calculator incorporates several open and proprietary data sources to build a machine learning model that takes location, building characteristics, and weather data as inputs, and returns an hourly electricity usage prediction. WattBuy will continue to improve this machine learning model with the funding from this round.
“WattBuy is providing an important service to consumers by helping them find the best electricity plan for them, including factors such as price and sustainability,” said Dennis Odell, vice president at Evergy Ventures. “We are thrilled to be partnering with WattBuy, a company that shares our passion for clean, safe, reliable energy solutions, as it expands its offering to enterprises.”
Who invested? Additional investors include Updater, Avesta Fund, Yoav Lurie, John Sherman, and Bill Gatreaux. Existing investors also participating in this round include Fort Ventures, Techstars Ventures and Powerhouse Ventures. Each investor brings a significant track record in supporting innovative companies that create solutions to decarbonize and democratize the energy value chain.
“Consumers have long desired greater choice in their energy decisions,” said Yoav Lurie, founder and CEO of Simple Energy, which merged with Tendril to form Uplight. “WattBuy really shines for its ability to reach consumers when they are making energy decisions. I’m excited to see them partnering with enterprises to scale their reach across the U.S. and enhance the customer experience at this critical time in the marketplace.”
Earlier this year, WattBuy initiated a Schmidt Futures-funded project in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to create the nation’s first complete, up-to-date database of electricity rates. Since its founding in 2017, WattBuy has raised a total of $5 million in venture funding. The company closed its $1.5 million seed round in July 2019.
— Solar Builder magazine