CSIRO spin-off Evergen has successfully raised $6 million in Series-A investment, overcoming a difficult investment market, that the company hopes will accelerate the commercialisation of its virtual power plant and battery optimisation platforms.
Evergen was formed to commercialise CSIRO battery optimisation software, that uses weather and solar access forecasting, combined with customer energy use data to optimise the operation of residential battery systems to maximise the financial benefits.
The Evergen platform can coordinate large numbers of battery storage systems, allowing them to operate as a Virtual Power Plant, to further optimise their operation to help manage network performance and coordinate battery systems in response to developments in the wholesale electricity market.
Evergen managing director Ben Hutt was pleased with the success of the investment round, which was undertaken through crowdfunding platform VentureCrowd with additional commitments from Artesian and AMP Capital, and completed in the midst of otherwise challenging times for the global economy.
In particular, Evergen hopes to use the investment to grow its platform, supporting small and large energy users to deploy more renewable energy and energy storage systems that can work to further decarbonise the energy system.
“This is a challenging time for Australia and the world, considering the public health crisis we are all facing. While global lockdowns have certainly meant some commercial energy consumption has been reduced, climate change will continue to be an existential threat to humans and the world we live in,” Hutt said.
“This really is the decade in which action must be taken and it was evident that this year was the warmest winter on record in the northern hemisphere. Our mission to replace coal-fired power stations using clean, renewable power and intelligent technology is going to be even more important on the other side of this pandemic. We are committed to leading the charge with a number of initiatives and I am confident of a brighter future.”
Evergen was formed as a partnership between the CSIRO and AMP Capital with the intention of commercialising the battery optimisation, virtual power plant and microgrid software platform developed by the CSIRO.
Evergen has previously secured deals to incorporate its software platforms integrated into Energizer branded home battery systems, being offered in the Australian market by 8 Star Energy. Evergen also struck a deal to cooperate with Solar Service Group, a leading distributor of residential solar and storage systems.
Evergen sees the ability to partner with third-party distributors of solar and storage systems as a key part of its commercialisation strategy, allowing Evergen to focus on the development of its software platforms, evolving as a ‘Software as a service’ provider, while benefiting from the ability for the optimisation platform to be deployed at scale.
“This is a transformation that is relevant for humanity and while these are testing times, we are ready to tackle these bold goals. There will always be challenges along the way when you want to achieve big things. We are here because of the strong interest and support from the local and international investor community,” Hutt added.
“As our transition to these new revenue streams and business model occurs, the valuation we expect to achieve in the future will increase significantly from where we priced the last capital raise. We have adapted and updated the plan and the model to reflect the opportunities we have in front of us.”
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