Blockchain energy trader Power Ledger raises $17m in "coin offering" | RenewEconomy

Blockchain energy trader Power Ledger raises $17m in “coin offering”

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Perth blockchain-based renewables trading start-up, Power Ledger, raising tens of millions of dollars in Australia’s first “initial coin offering” in energy space.

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Perth-based blockchain energy technology company, Power Ledger, is set to launch its second round of “cryptocurrency” fundraising this week, after successfully selling out a $17 million initial coin offering (ICO) – a first of its kind in Australia – over the course of just three days.

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Image Source: Flickr

The company, whose bitcoin-inspired POWR tokens will be used on a peer-to-peer renewable energy trading platform, will open its main public token sale on Friday afternoon, after the pre-sale – launched last Sunday – sold all 100 million POWR tokens on offer.

The Friday sale is set to offer around 150 million POWR tokens in an uncapped sale, meaning that the level of market demand will set the final token price at its conclusion.

Power Ledger co-founder and chair, Dr Jemma Green, said the company was “absolutely thrilled” with the results of the public pre-sale, which she said were in line with global ICO standards.

As we reported here in August 2016, Power Ledger’s technology works to identify the ownership of energy as it is generated and then to manage multiple trading agreements between consumers who buy excess solar direct from the original owner/producer, without the addition of market costs and commercial margins.

“It’s a software program that tracks the movement of electricity from point to point,” Green explained in an interview with One Step Off The Grid at the time. “It handles the financial transactions off the back of it as well.

“Presently, if you’ve got surplus solar electricity you sell it back for a low feed-in tariff and buy it back (from the grid) for a high rate. Using (Power Ledger), you can sell it to your neighbour at somewhere between the two” – less than the uniform tariff but more than you would get from selling it to their retailer, Green said.

“Effectively, we’re cutting out the middle-man to save consumers, and to maximise returns for producers,” she said.

“Consumers don’t like selling their power back to the retailer and buying it back at a higher price.” Using this platform, she added, “they can gift the electricity to their mother or anyone else; sell it when they want at the price they want.

“The benefits of distributed renewable energy will flow on to those who, at the moment, can least afford to participate; we think that’s pretty special.”

This time last year, the company had just kicked off trials in Perth, involving 10 households and about 20 people at the Busselton Lifestyle Village, on the Western Power network.

One year later, Power Ledger’s peer-to-peer applications are operating live in commercial settings in the Australian market, and the company is focusing on growing strategic relationships with key energy and property sector players, both in Australia and internationally.

The company says this week’s token sales will be used to accelerate its expansion, including entry into India and other emerging markets, where gaps in the existing energy infrastructure make them even better suited to distributed wind and solar energy solutions.

“Demand has significantly exceeded our expectations,” said Power Ledger co-founder and managing director Dave Martin.

“As the first Australian ICO, we’ve been breaking new ground, and have been unable to rely on precedent to help us set targets. We initially hoped to conservatively sell up to $20 million, but the strength of the market response has been absolutely phenomenal.”

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