The Ecosystem in Action: Growing gridX

The energy market is rapidly changing and requires digital, decentralized and sustainable solutions. Consumers are increasingly becoming "prosumers" who not only consume electricity, but also produce it, for example, through their own solar or photovoltaic systems. Furthermore, as transportation gets increasingly electrified, intelligent charging solutions are needed at home, at work and in public. Utilities must respond to the new demands of digital transformation and offer their customers holistic, flexible energy management.

With this problem in mind David Balensiefen and Andreas Booke founded start-up gridX in mid-2016.

gridX’s technology captures, stores and manages data in real time and guarantees dynamic load management. The intelligent IoT platform enables new business models and products needed for a decarbonised and decentralised future energy world. Efficient management of energy consumption, generation and storage at a localised level is one use case for example. Another use case of the firm’s flexible IoT solution is smart charging solutions i.e. intelligent integration of charging solutions into local energy networks (e.g. living quarters, hotels, etc.) and optimally balancing the load with the overall system. In all of its use-cases, gridX focuses on great usability for its customers, high-end architecture and rapid time to market.

And that’s why innogy Ventures decided to structure a venture capital investment into the start-up: “gridX fully supports our vision of the future energy landscape and provides the tools but especially the agility and digital expertise necessary to enable this new energy world” according to Veronique Hördemann and Thomas Labryga who are the responsible Investment Partner.

We have benefited enormously – as we do from all their portfolio companies – from the dynamic and innovative thinking brought by the gridX team, and in turn gridX can use the knowledge accrued from the many years that the innogy group has been working in the energy sector.

Therefore, after the initial investment in early 2018, gridX and innogy Ventures truly kicked off the partnership with gridX benefitting from being able to pilot, co-develop or just provide its technology to innogy SE with its customer base of about 22 million. Since then various use cases have been set up, offering joint products to the market and injecting some life into the partnership.

For example, successful collaborative projects include:

  • SmartConnect: Making charging stations smart
  • District energy / microgrids steering and energy management solutions.
  • Holistic steering and monitoring of prosumer generation and load
  • P2P energy trading

While innogy SE provides access to potential customers and business, long-lasting industry expertise and new product ideas, gridX provides state-of-the art technology (software plus hardware) to help us realise our goals for the future of energy. Furthermore, we provide not only access to innogy SE but also to a wide external and international network of startups and other corporates. Finally, gridX and our other portfolio companies benefit from a strong visibility in the innovation eco-system via conferences and events.

Alongside innogy Ventures, other investors including Coparian venture fund and Vito One (part of Viessmann group) joined the Series A funding round in early 2018.

This year, gridX is set for rapid growth with several new B2B partner from the utility space but also from adjacent industries such as automotive, a significant team expansion in its offices in Aachen and Munich and new exciting product releases. In the long run, we hope that gridX can become an integral part in the energy “operating system” of the future. Our vision is to create self-sufficient communities, where the use of expensive power sources becomes obsolete.

For more on how we work with gridX and to learn more about how our ecosystem approach maximises the value of our investments for corporates and start-ups alike, take a look at this panel session from Ecosummit Berlin 2019: https://youtu.be/MI3Nji2aXTo

Finally, for further detail on the collaboration between gridX and innogy SE, visit this website and check out this case study.

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