It appears that President Obama’s Energy Policy will include substantial spending on smart grid technologies. Let’s look at one.
San Mateo, CA-based eMeter provides enterprise scale energy information management solutions for the utility mass market with the goal of saving electricity by educating customers on efficient electricity usage. Its flexible SOA-compliant architecture integrates easily into existing IT infrastructures. The company provides software that enables utility companies to monitor their resource usage, leading to energy management, reliable service and reduced costs.
eMeter’s flagship software, EnergyIP, is a combination of Meter Data Management (MDM) with a vendor-neutral integration platform. The EnergyIP Advanced Metering Information System suite includes data collection at regular intervals, complex billing, and detailed energy usage data presented through the web. eMeter’s service team is available to plan, install, and configure the EnergyIP software, as well as provide strategic consulting services related to meter data management, advanced metering and demand response.
eMeter was a spinoff of CellNet Data Systems. CellNet, a company that installed communication networks to bring together utility meters and send that information to the utility company, was founded in 1985 by Cree Edwards. When he realized no one else in the market was considering leveraging the metering data, Edwards, along with his co-founder Larsh Johnson, started eMeter.
The company has raised five rounds of funding so far, with the latest a $12.5 million investment from Siemens, Foundation Capital and DBL Investors in April 2008. In April 2007, the company raised their fourth round of $11.79 million in a round led by Foundation Capital. Previously, the company raised some seed capital and was then bootstrapped. eMeter is interested in raising more funds through mezzanine equity investors in the early part of this year.
When eMeter was conceived, there was no other competition in the market. The term Meter Data Management (MDM) only came into existence in 2004. eMeter was able to use its domain experience to gain a foothold in the market. It uses its software to enable utility companies to make the smart grid a certainty. The software links the latest networks with utility software applications that have been around for a couple of decades. Unlike its competition, the EnergyIP software manages real-time data and converts it into targeted messages that the utility companies can use to control shortages, calculate bills based on time of day usage and peak-time usage. Another differentiating factor is that EnergyIP provides a full suite of business process applications to design and manage smart grid networks.
At present, the market is estimated at $10 billion with the possibility of other similar markets arising over time. The company currently sells to approximately 31 million enterprise and track meters, 21 million meters committed to AMI rollout, and has has 4.2 million meters delivered to billing via MDM.
eMeter uses direct sales and partnerships to penetrate its top target segment, which is made up of the 300 largest utilities worldwide. The company expects to be cash flow positive this year but declined give other financial data.
This segment is a part in the series : Deal Radar 2009