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Summary:

It’s the week of investors realizing the potential of energy management tools. On Tuesday, Tendril announced a $30 million round of funding, and on Wednesday, Cambridge, UK-based AlertMe said it has raised £8 million ($13.04 million) in a Series B round from Good Energies, Index Ventures, […]

AlertMeimage1It’s the week of investors realizing the potential of energy management tools. On Tuesday, Tendril announced a $30 million round of funding, and on Wednesday, Cambridge, UK-based AlertMe said it has raised £8 million ($13.04 million) in a Series B round from Good Energies, Index Ventures, SET Partners and VantagePoint Venture Partners. Who’s got Thursday’s slot? There’s a whole list of options here.

AlertMe is a 3-year-old company that builds a home energy management product that uses a Zigbee-based wireless network, sensors and smart plugs to monitor and manage energy consumption in homes. The kit, which costs between £149.00 ($243) and £399 ($650), plus £9.99 per month — depending on the size and features — is one of the few energy management products that is actually available now (anyone can buy it on the web site), and it doesn’t have to use a smart meter (though it can work with smart meter data, too).

But AlertMe, like most of these companies, plans to focus largely on selling to utilities as its main business, and tells us that as the direct-to-consumer market grows bigger, it will consider a direct-to-consumer product as a secondary channel. Well, even if the company is only dabbling in direct-to-consumer, now the geek in me likes that I can already buy it.

Since AlertMe wants to focus on utilities, it’s got to get some pilots in there. The company tells us cryptically it is “working closely with some of the largest UK utilities and service providers which we expect to convert to major strategic relationships in the near term.” But AlertMe decided more recently to focus all of its efforts on energy management, rather than its other services like wireless security. And, thus, the company seems to have a strong history in product design and packaging (the part that can attract consumers) and is less familiar with utility deals.

AlertMe is one of those tools that is trying to focus on reducing the energy per specific appliance or device (like Tendril), and each of its smart plugs acts as both a sensor for measurement as well as a load controller that a customer can manipulate. AlertMe says through its system, customers can save 25 percent of their residential energy costs, and the system pays for itself in about a year. The company is also focusing on a web interface to enable customers to manage the system, and texts or emails when the customer is away from a computer.

We say the more the merrier in the energy management space, since it will mean better options for customers and utilities, but there will start to be some clear winners and losers as the market becomes more mature over the coming years.

  1. Anyone else notice that the same folks funded both Tendril and AlertMe? (VantagePoint and Good Energies)?

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  2. [...] No Comments Posted June 11th, 2009 at 5:00 am in Energy Energy management startups Tendril and AlertMe both announced this week that the companies had raised significant funds for pretty similar looking [...]

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  3. [...] the dealflow we were seeing for most of last year. Energy-management startups Tendril and AlertMe both raised money ($30 million and $13 million, respectively) this week, for instance, and Solazyme, which is [...]

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  4. [...] home energy management tools. In contrast to relatively unknown young startups like Tendril, AlertMe, or EnergyHub, Linksys broadband hardware is available at retailers all over the U.S. and is a [...]

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  5. [...] home energy management tools. In contrast to relatively unknown young startups like Tendril, AlertMe, or EnergyHub, Linksys broadband hardware is available at retailers all over the U.S. and is a [...]

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  6. [...] of control. Earlier this month both home energy management dashboard companies Tendril and AlertMe raised double digit million dollar rounds; last week home energy management startup EcoDog raised $4.6 million. Here’s 10 startups that [...]

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  7. [...] startups to sell its gear to customers. In the pat several months since the company decided to focus predominantly on utility sales, however, the company had not announced any utility deals. But on Monday morning AlertMe plans to [...]

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  8. [...] 3-year-old AlertMe raised £8 million ($13.04 million) back in June in a Series B round from Good Energies, Index Ventures, [...]

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