Electricity supplier David Energy announced $19 million in funding Tuesday, which included a $4.1 million seed round and an additional $15 million in capital.
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David Energy, which is based in New York, is a retail electricity supplier with its own technology system. The company is able to store and deploy energy at specific times. So, when electricity prices are higher, David Energy can tell an EV charger to charge two hours later. Or, in the summer, the company can pre-cool a home in the morning so homeowners can avoid using electricity in the afternoon when prices are higher.
“Customers are installing solar, battery storage, EV chargers, building management systems and smart thermostats in their homes and buildings so these are really new to the grid,” CEO James McGinniss said. “Our technology actually integrates directly with these devices. Your standard retailer(s), which were built in the 90s, they don’t have this technology available.”
McGinniss has been interested in climate change since high school, but it was during college and his master’s program that he wanted to focus on energy as a way to combat climate change. He became interested in Texas’ solar and wind boom during grad school, but the issue with solar and wind is that customers don’t have power if the sun is down or there’s no wind.
“If we can shift customer demand to the times when solar and wind is most available, customers will have cheaper power but it will be cleaner,” McGinniss said. “The way that problem is expressed is in price volatility.”
The idea is that if a person can store energy and choose when to deploy it, then they can use more solar and wind energy without having to worry about the sun not being out or wind not blowing. Customers get cheaper power contracts, while creating more of an incentive to use solar and wind energy.
The company’s mission to provide cheaper and cleaner power is “exactly the disruption the energy market needs in order to match customer and environmental needs,” according to Zach Weinberg, a partner at investor Operator Partners.
David Energy obtained retail electricity licenses to operate in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, and is looking to enter Texas next, McGinniss said. Now that licensing is complete and the product is ready to go, the new funding will be used to go to market.
The company, which has 14 full-time employees, doesn’t have immediate plans to hire more team members, but the headcount will likely grow based on customer and revenue growth, McGinniss said.
David Energy last announced a $1.5 million pre-seed round in March 2020. The company’s $4.1 million seed round was led by Equal Ventures and the $15 million round was led by Hartree Partners. Other investors in the company include Operator Partners, Box Group, Greycroft, RigUp co-founders Sandeep Jain and Xuan Yong, Kiran Bhatraju and My Climate Journey Collective.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias
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