Gridcognition closes $675K pre-seed investment round

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// Perth-based energy tech startup Gridcogniton has recently closed a $675k pre-seed investment round with some of Australia’s leading tech and clean energy investors…

From a standing start in February 2020, co-founders Fabian Le Gay Brereton and Pete Tickler have assembled a team of data scientists, software engineers, and self-confessed ‘energy nerds’ to accelerate the transition to a fully decarbonised and decentralised energy system.

Gridcognition provides software to plan and optimise distributed energy projects, including microgrids, virtual power plants, community energy projects, electric vehicle charging systems, and behind-the-meter renewable power plants. ​

The startup helps energy providers, project developers, and energy users get the best commercial and environmental outcome from the deployment and operations of these assets.

“Over the next 30 years, trillions of dollars will be invested in new energy and transport infrastructure as the world transitions away from fossil fuels,” said Tickler.

“We believe this investment will increasingly be in smaller, smarter, and more decentralised infrastructure – Gridcognition are building the technology layer to direct this investment and to track and optimise the financial and environmental performance of the new energy system.”

For their pre-seed round, the startup has attracted investors to fund continued investment in their innovative new simulation and optimisation technology, led by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), on behalf of the Australian Government.

“The CEFC Innovation Fund recognised the potential of Gridcognition through its investment in the Startmate Climate Cohort. We are delighted to back the Gridcognition team again as it continues to develop this exciting technology,” said Ben Gust, Executive Director of the Clean Energy Innovation Fund.

“The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO’s) Integrated System Plan estimates that distributed energy will provide as much as 22% of Australia’s annual energy consumption by 2040.

“The Gridcognition software enables consumers to get the most from these complex distributed energy systems. It also provides important grid support by improving the integration of Distributed Energy Resources into the network.”

Ben Gust

Past experience leading to future success

As previously reported, Gridcognition is the second energy tech startup from Fabian Le Gay Brereton and Pete Tickler.

The team co-founded one of Australia’s leading sustainability and energy analytics businesses, Greensense, before selling it to ERM Power, who were acquired by Shell last year.

Since launching an Alpha-version of the product to selected customers in May, Gridcognition has attracted interest from customers across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and is now being used to simulate and optimise virtual power plants, community batteries, electric vehicle charging networks, and behind-the-meter solar and storage systems.

From their experience building Greensense, Pete said that it was crucial to get a working product into the hands of customers as soon as possible.

“The energy system is changing incredibly fast, and Australia is at the global forefront of the shift to distributed energy, with exciting new projects being announced weekly. Big decisions are being made about the future of energy by old and new players alike, and spreadsheet models just can’t accommodate the complexity and flexibility of the new energy technologies available today.”

Early stage investors

Albert Impact Capital and Startmate have also joined the round, alongside early stage investors:

  • Alex De Aboitiz;
  • ​Rayn Ong​;
  • Doug English, founder of CultureAmp;
  • Matt Allen, Startmate Partner;
  • Simon Monk, innovator and entrepreneur;
  • Patrick Sieb of InfraTech Partners;
  • Kara Frederick of Tiger Financial Group;
  • Ed McManus, previous CEO of Powershop and Meridian Energy Australia

“We are extremely impressed with the team at Gridcognition and their innovative analytical software which will help accelerate Australia’s transition to a decarbonised energy market,” said David Albert, CEO of Albert Impact Capital.

“With experience in building tech energy companies, Fabian and Pete are bright and ambitious founders with a lived experience in energy startups. This investment reflects Alberts’ ongoing focus on using its capital to create a positive impact by supporting pioneers who are contributing to a more sustainable world.”

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For more information, visit gridcognition.com

MAIN IMAGE: Co-founders of Gridcognition, Fabian Le Gay Bereton (left) and Pete Tickler. Image Supplied.