Startups Venture

Atom Power’s Expansion Plan Is Electrified By $17.75M Series B

Atom Power raised $17.75 million in a Series B round of funding to move the circuit breaker into the digital age, the company announced Friday.

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Participating in the round were Valor Equity Partners, Rockwell Automation Inc., ABB Technology Ventures and Atreides Management. The new funding gives a boost to the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company, which has raised $23 million in total funds since its inception in 2014. That includes a previous $3 million Series A round in 2017.

Circuit breakers are used to protect equipment from causing fires. Atom Power CEO Ryan Kennedy spent 20 years installing them in buildings and said circuit breaker technology hasn’t changed much in more than 100 years, even though the ways we use electricity have become more challenging.

“We are now seeing more complex, redundant systems, the addition of renewables and charging things like electric vehicles,” Kennedy said in an interview. “All of that power goes through lots of circuit breakers, perhaps the least sophisticated product on the market today.”

Since the 2017 fund raise, the company has been developing a first-of-its-kind circuit breaker that uses software and semiconductors to connect and manage unlimited power sources digitally, in one point, seamlessly based on need, he said.

Then in 2019, Atom Power achieved the milestone of having its digital circuit breaker being listed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the gold standard for governing safety.

This latest investment will enable the company to scale to “accommodate the eruption of our product,” Kennedy said.

“Exciting things will be coming out of e-mobility by us later this year, which will be a massive shift in how we charge electric vehicles,” he added. “We will also make some advancements in the technology to make a significant change in the electrical world.”

Kennedy did not disclose revenue, but did say he anticipates the company will grow 20 percent year over year.

One of the things he said he recognized while trying to scale the digital circuit breaker for commercial use was that the “lean startup” model didn’t work for Atom Power. Instead, the company had to grow slower in order to perfect its product so that it could be UL listed. With that done, there is more opportunity for growth.

“Ultimately, UL looks at our product as a life safety device, so it had to be perfect and tested in the field so we could get that customer feedback,” Kennedy said. “Now, and especially when e-mobility opens, there will be even more room for growth. The sky’s the limit as we figure out how big this will be.”

Illustration: iStock

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