Few would argue the need to reduce power consumption and shift to cleaner sources of energy – but investing in cleantech is often an expensive and complicated process.
EnPowered, a six-year-old tech company based in Waterloo Region, is on a mission to change that. And that mission just picked up speed, in the form of CDN$12 million in seed capital.
The company, housed in the Communitech Hub, announced the funding today. It was raised in a pair of recent rounds: a seed round led by Version One Ventures and Golden Ventures, and a seed-plus round led by Inovia Capital.
The investment supported the launch of EnPowered’s latest offering, a new payments platform that enables buyers of cleantech solutions to pay for them on their monthly energy bill as operating expenses, and thus avoid big, upfront capital outlays. The monthly payments are further reduced by the savings customers realize from making the cleantech improvements, EnPowered says.
EnPowered had already been helping customers reduce their energy spending by using machine learning to predict spikes in power usage – fluctuations that can affect the cost of energy at any given time.
With the new payments platform, which makes it easier for cleantech providers to sell their products and for customers to buy them, EnPowered aims to further accelerate adoption of cleaner power alternatives and reduce emissions, the company says.
“We are forging ahead with our efforts to supercharge the adoption of cleantech, not only in North America but eventually in global markets as well,” said Tomas van Stee, EnPowered’s founder and CEO, in today’s announcement.
“We are really excited by the level of investor confidence in our approach and in the industry as a whole,” van Stee said, adding that EnPowered’s team has grown from five people to 40 over the past 18 months.
The company’s growth in the tech-for-good space comes as world leaders grapple with climate change and the need to reduce carbon emissions to head off a catastrophic rise in temperatures. The urgency of that need has come into sharp focus over the past two weeks at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
“The rate of cleantech adoption needs to shift into a higher gear, so being able to have finance partners, energy solution providers, and their customers all on the same platform is a huge step forward,” said Boris Wertz, founder and General Partner at Version One Ventures, who has joined EnPowered’s board of directors.
Jay Shah, an entrepreneur-in-residence at Inovia who formerly oversaw the University of Waterloo’s Velocity program, where EnPowered got its start, said the company’s offerings “have tremendous potential to build momentum in the cleantech industry and to overcome the funding bottleneck that a lot of companies are facing” due to the costs and complexity of cleantech purchases. “We are very keen about their next phase of growth.”