The open smart grid is here, and players are emerging to build applications and services on top of it. The latest is Grid2Home, which makes smart grid software based on open standards and launched last September, and according to a filing this morning, has raised $2.6 million of a planned $3.1 million round.
Grid2Home’s execs have deep roots in the wireless world — from Qualcomm to Texas Instruments — and have approached the smart grid in much the same way as a traditional wireless network software company would. The company makes a software platform that can be used by developers to connect various devices across numerous smart grid networks, and Grid2Home licenses the software to chip companies, smart energy device makers, electric vehicle charging companies and car companies.
That type of startup, which builds tools for developers based on standard network technology, is pretty typical in the Internet and mobile ecosystems, but somewhat rare for the smart grid world. Their ramp up means, despite the nascent stage of the smart grid industry, that startups are betting the smart grid will have the same type of open standards and innovation as the Internet. I expect to see more startups emerge making the same bet over the next few years.
One of the key indicators that IP and open standards could be the future of the power grid network emerged back when Cisco bought wireless network company Arch Rock, a startup that called itself the first completely open standard networking option for the smart grid (see Why Cisco Could Reach An End to End Smart Grid Network First, on GigaOM Pro, subscription required). Cisco has emphasized an IP smart grid, and specifically one based on the latest IP numbering systems IPV6.
Of course, pioneer Silver Spring Networks has done the heavy lifting for building an IP-based smart grid over the past eight years, and now faces some competition from Cisco, which also recently announced a partnership with smart meter maker Itron.
Previous investors in GRid2Home include Granite Ventures.
For more research on demand response and the smart grid check out GigaOM Pro (subscription required):
- Why Cisco Could Reach An End to End Smart Grid Network First
- An Open Source Smart Grid Primer
- Smart algorithms, the future of the energy industry
Image courtesy of Daniel Ngu.