Company: FirstFuel Software
Next World Capital leads Series C investment with full participation from existing investors
FirstFuel Software, the trusted source for customer intelligence for energy providers, today announced that it has closed $23 million in Series C financing in an oversubscribed round to accelerate its recent growth within the transforming regulated and deregulated utility markets.
•Next World Capital led the round joined by new investor Electranova Capital.
•All prior investors, including Battery Ventures, Rockport Capital, Nth Power and E.ON SE also participated in the round.
•Tom Rikert, partner at Next World Capital, will join FirstFuel’s Board of Directors.
•This round brings FirstFuel’s total funding to $45 million since its founding in 2010.
“The energy provider markets are facing a sea change stemming from new technology advances in distributed generation, a dynamic regulatory environment and increased competition. In the face of this complexity, a large determinant of success will be their ability to help customers navigate energy options,” said Swapnil Shah, CEO, FirstFuel. “Recognizing the immense value of deeper customer relationships, providers are asking us to help them understand each and every customer’s energy usage and needs.”
The electric energy market is undergoing substantial transformation. Navigant Research estimates that the building efficiency, distributed generation, microgrid and storage markets totaled almost $250 billion globally in 2014, up more than 70 percent in the past three years alone. Both regulated and newly deregulated utilities face challenges adapting their business models to resulting changes in their customers’ energy needs. This has been particularly true in the commercial sector, which accounts for more than 36 percent of all electricity used and is investing heavily to reduce high energy spends, improve resiliency and meet regulatory mandates.
FirstFuel’s Software as a Service (SaaS) platform, which is comprised of FirstEngage and FirstAdvisor (formerly the FirstAudit suite), applies analytics to meter and business data, enabling energy providers to deliver individual insights to all their business customers. The deep data platform performs detailed performance analysis of energy usage in every building — allowing energy providers to fully engage with their customers to uncover new revenue opportunities and deliver services like energy efficiency, demand management and on-site generation at scale.
FirstFuel has established itself as the leading platform for customer intelligence in the transforming energy sector. Since its commercial launch in late 2012, FirstFuel has analyzed data for more than a million building meters, providing intelligence to the largest utilities, energy service providers and government customers across North America and Europe. The FirstAdvisor product alone has analyzed 40 billion kWh and identified more than $400 million and 5 TWh in annual savings – enough to take two coal-fired power plants offline.
“FirstFuel has established a unique pole position in the industry, emerging as the analytics leader in the regulated utility market and developing strong inroads into the global unregulated energy provider markets,” said Tom Rikert of Next World Capital. “They have all the hallmarks of a great vertical SaaS company – world-class customer intelligence software and scalable analytics, domain expertise and focus on industry-specific value creation.”
The new round of funding will support the next phase of the company’s aggressive growth strategy by increasing sales and marketing, furthering its footprint in Europe and expanding investment in its SaaS platform capabilities to meet the rapidly evolving needs of today’s energy providers. Lead investor Next World Capital is an international, expansion-stage firm focused on the enterprise software sector and brings deep expertise in growing successful SaaS companies. As an active investor, Next World will add their expansion experience and European networks to spur FirstFuel’s continued growth.
“Smart data analytics software is the key to solving countless global challenges today, and the energy market is certainly no exception. FirstFuel’s customer intelligence capabilities are going to fundamentally change the way energy providers approach their business, and that’s a huge value proposition. We’re excited to be involved as the organization continues to prove its role as a change agent in such a dynamic marketplace.” – Tom Crotty, Senior Advisor at Battery Ventures
“FirstFuel is driving a fundamental transformation in how data can be applied in numerous ways to deliver the next generation of customer engagement and energy optimization. Increasing levels of energy options and complexity require this kind of marketplace solution, and FirstFuel is meeting this need for the business sector.”– Dian Grueneich, Former Commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commission
“Our small-and medium-sized business customers want to be able to cut through the confusion and find solutions for their businesses which are centered on real data, allowing them to understand, compare and control their energy use. By introducing FirstFuel’s software into our Energy Toolkit, we’re changing the game for such businesses – offering advice and meaningful tools based around their own circumstances and giving them benefits usually only seen by larger companies. Helping firms to manage their energy use in a simple and relevant way is crucial in our efforts to become our customers’ trusted energy partner.” – Anthony Ainsworth, Business Energy Director at E.ON UK
About FirstFuel Software
FirstFuel Software provides a customer intelligence platform that transforms energy providers into trusted advisors to their business customers. FirstFuel’s SaaS solutions accelerate customer acquisition, optimize energy efficiency and DSM programs, and boost customer engagement and satisfaction. The company draws on deep domain expertise in data analytics, building science, and software in its deployments with large utilities, energy service providers, and government agencies in North America and Europe. Founded in 2010 and privately held, FirstFuel is headquartered in Lexington, MA. For more information, please visit www.firstfuel.com and follow us on Twitter at @FirstFuelSW.