Vienna-based HYDROGRID, a SaaS scale-up, announced on Friday that it has secured $8.5M (approximately €7.7M) in a Series A round of funding led by new shareholders Inven Capital and Karma Ventures with contributions from existing investors CNB Capital and SET Ventures.
This investment will help the Austrian scale-up expand into new markets and transition to a zero-carbon future.
Hydropower is the largest source of renewable energy worldwide.
Hydro provides reliable baseload energy 365 days per year, making it crucial for the security of supply as it accounts for 60 per cent of all global renewable generation.
Globally, it is the largest available source of grid-scale storage and will continue to provide roughly 500 times as much capacity as battery technology even past the year 2035.
“Despite the important role hydropower has to play as a green battery to the grid, hydro is often viewed as the sleeping giant of the energy transition. This is because a significant part of its potential is currently underutilized due to a lack of digitalisation or due to complex regulation. And that’s what we aim to change,” says Janice Goodenough, CEO of HYDROGRID.
HYDROGRID: Provides IoT solution for the optimal control of hydropower plants
Founded in 2016 in Vienna, HYDROGRID offers automated IoT software for the optimal, real-time planning & dispatch of hydropower plants.
The company’s SaaS solution enables power plant owners to increase their revenues by up to 16 per cent by aligning their production to the power markets whilst at the same time reducing daily operational workload.
HYDROGRID’s solution combines machine learning algorithms for inflow and power price forecasting with intelligent optimisation across the short-, medium- and long-term horizon for run-of-river, pondage, storage, and cascade hydro-assets.
This enables hydropower operators to react in real-time to weather events, minimise water losses, and maximise their power market revenues in an automated way while ensuring environmental and operational safety and compliance.
Currently, the Austrian company supports hydro operators in 7 countries around the world to fully digitalise their process from water to money.
Inven Capital is a €500M European VC fund focused on later-stage climate tech investments in Europe & Israel, backed by CEZ Group and the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The VC primarily focuses on later-stage growth investment opportunities with a sound business model proven by realised revenues and long-term growth potential.
Michal Mravec, Investment Director at Inven Capital says, “At Inven Capital, we believe hydropower is vital in the transition towards a zero-carbon economy. HYDROGRID’s ability to proactively manage inflow forecasting, water management, and environmental regulation and then combine it with optimal power trading, adds tremendous value to hydropower owners. The real-time, all-in-one solution allows them to increase their revenues by up to 50% and streamline their processes, enabling operators to remain competitive in a fast-paced market and regulatory environment. The positive climate impact of increasing hydropower generation by up to 10% compared to manual operation is also significant. We are excited to support the company on its global growth journey.”
Karma Ventures is a venture capital firm focused on investing in European deep-tech companies with strong technological USP and proven customer traction.
Karma Ventures’ second fund is backed among others by Baltic Innovation Fund 2 (BIF 2) – an initiative created by cooperation between the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, and the European Investment Fund.
Tommi Uhari, Partner at Karma Ventures says “I have been following the development of both the product and the company already since 2019. The outstanding level of talent and spirit of the HYDROGRID team is in my opinion the company’s greatest asset. It makes me confident that they will continue to execute their ambitious growth plans. That’s why we’re excited to invest alongside Inven Capital and to witness the continued support from existing investors CNB and SET Ventures. This gives the company the freedom to realise its vision and full potential.”