Impact investor backs the power of data to further propel the clean energy transition in the age of distributed energy resources, digitalisation and the ‘electrification of everything’. Series A investor CEFC participates in Series B round as well.
COMPANY ANNOUNCEMENT: SERIES B INVESTMENT ROUND
SYDNEY, September 27, 2021: Leading private equity investor, Kilara Capital has invested $5.3 million in the Series B round of Australia’s leading digital energy platform company Wattwatchers. The investment was made by Kilara Capital’s Growth Fund, which has recently launched.
It is a significant milestone for an Australian energy technology company and comes at a time where Wattwatchers is ready to scale-up, having achieved profitability in FY21.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), has also participated in Wattwatchers’ Series B investment round following its foundational investment in the Series A round.
Now deploying 50,000 devices commercially in over 20 countries worldwide, Wattwatchers is positively leveraged to key trends for the global energy transition: decentralisation, digitalisation, decarbonisation and the democratisation of energy through increased consumer involvement in the electricity sector.
Smart homes and energy are converging
Wattwatchers devices play a key role in enabling smart homes and the use of distributed energy resources, with its technology providing the data to enable integration and control of household appliances such as air-conditioning, hot water, solar batteries and EV charging.
Each Wattwatchers device installed saves on average at least 1 tonne of carbon emissions over its operating life. 50,000 devices a year locks in 50,000 tonnes of emissions reductions.
The investment will accelerate international expansion – driving team growth, the scale-up of Australian manufacturing and aggressive new product development including data services. It will also support the doubling and then tripling of current sales to achieve installation of 50,000-plus devices a year.
Ben Krasnostein, Managing Director of Kilara Capital said: ‘With the world rapidly moving on from large-scale thermal generation and one-way distribution of electricity, to large-scale renewables, smaller scale distributed generation and electrification of mobility, the investment from Kilara has come at an important time for Wattwatchers.
‘Wattwatchers has proved itself as an enduring and growing smart energy company in Australia – and globally. Our investment will take it to the next level as we seek to generate an excellent financial return, but also contribute significantly to the decarbonisation of the electricity grid.
‘Taking on key investments in companies which can make a significant scaleable impact in the energy transition is exactly the space Kilara operates in.’
Wattwatchers CEO Gavin Dietz said: ‘We are positioned to become the absolute leader in energy technology both here in Australia and globally – especially with focused energy incentives in the UK, EU and USA.
‘Having energy data helps households to save on electricity costs in multiple ways, and quickly adds up to hundreds of dollars a year. The typical three-bedroom freestanding home can save hundreds of dollars each year just by shifting their energy use and energy waste through the use of data.
‘Nearly a quarter of Australian homes have rooftop solar. These homes are in a great position to use data to boost the return on their investment in renewable generation – with savings of $500-$1000 a year through cutting waste, getting on the best plan, and above all optimising electricity use to maximise self-consumption of their own free-from-the-sun electrons.
‘The greatest value from having your own energy data is the optimisation for an all electric future. The ability to leverage demand management programs and incentives as well as optimising home batteries will pretty much make your home a virtual power plant.’
The CEFC participated in Wattwatchers’ initial capital raise in 2017 through its specialist Innovation Fund. The CEFC’s most recent support takes its commitment to $2.5 million.
Innovation Fund Executive Director Ben Gust said: ‘The Innovation Fund was proud to be an early investor in Wattwatchers and we are delighted to see this exciting company continue to grow and attract additional investor support.
‘The funds raised in this round will support the expansion of the platform into new areas, including smart home integration, certified metering and self-installed solar monitoring. Wattwatchers is continuing to develop innovative solutions to deliver real-time data on energy usage, important work which will further empower Australian households and businesses to manage their energy usage.’
About Kilara Capital: Kilara Capital is a specialist private equity investment manager. Kilara recently established its Growth Equity Fund, Australia’s first and only dedicated growth-stage and impact focused investment vehicle that targets small to medium sized companies which generate significant climate positive outcomes, together with outsized commercial returns. The Growth Fund targets companies with a proven business model, nearing or achieving profitability and is a point of entry for wholesale investors seeking exposure to climate smart investment opportunities across the future food, energy transformation, environmental markets and circular economy sectors, all of which assist to drive the transition to a zero-carbon ecosystem. More information at: www.kilaracapital.com
About Wattwatchers: Wattwatchers is Australia’s leading digital energy platform, enabling fast, powerful and scalable solutions to monitor, analyse and control electrical circuits in real time – maximising the benefits from renewable energy. Our solutions suite spans devices, datasets, analytics, software and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity, for energy and non-energy applications across home, community, commercial and industrial, and utility use cases. Our open business model promotes technology collaborations, with dozens of third-party partner integrations with our REST API – in Australia, and internationally. Product brands include Wattwatchers (hardware and data to the cloud), mydata.energy (mobile app) and ADEPT (agile IoT platform for managing multi-technology fleets in real-time). Multi-year projects include My Energy Marketplace, backed by $2.7 million in grant funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA); and MyTown Microgrid, supported by a $1.75 million grant from the Australian Government. More information at: www.wattwatchers.com.au
About CEFC: The CEFC has a unique purpose – to lead investment in Australia’s transition to a low emissions economy. We invest to lead the market, operating with commercial rigour to address some of Australia’s toughest emissions challenges. This includes working with our co-investors across renewable energy generation and energy storage, as well as agriculture, infrastructure, property, transport and waste. Through the Advancing Hydrogen Fund, we are supporting the growth of a clean, innovative, safe and competitive hydrogen industry. And as Australia’s largest dedicated cleantech investor, we continue to back cleantech entrepreneurs through the Clean Energy Innovation Fund. With $10 billion to invest on behalf of the Australian Government, we work to deliver a positive return for taxpayers across our portfolio. More information at: www.cefc.com.au
Australian Financial Review (paywall may apply)
Startup Daily TV Show (interview with CEO Gavin Dietz starts at 16 minutes in)