David Gelbaum’s Quercus Trust is at it again. The quiet venture capital firm, along with frequent co-investor 21Ventures, has just led a second round of investment in startup Advanced Telemetry, which has built a wireless dashboard for monitoring and managing energy consumption. True to form, the firms aren’t disclosing the size of the investment, but the play ups Gelbaum’s stake in the smart grid market, where he has already led a $15 million round of funding for smart grid software developer GridPoint.
While many of the Quercus Trust plays that have come to light so far (Variable Wind Solutions, Graphene Energy) involve clean power and energy storage, 2-year-old Advanced Telemetry is working on a energy and resource management system with an eye toward getting in on “the burgeoning $15 billion smart grid industry,” according to the company’s statement this morning.
San Diego, Calif.-based Advanced Telemetry plans to use today’s Series B investment to ramp up production and “expand sales channels” for both the commercial and residential versions of its EcoView product — a wireless dashboard for monitoring and managing energy use, water and other resources, which the company claims can reduce utility bills by up to 25 percent.
Advanced Telemetry has plenty of competition. An influx of funding from the stimulus package and renewed attention to energy savings means 2009 is shaping up to be the year that companies are vying to launch monitoring devices like EcoView using low-cost hardware and open standards. So if Quercus Trust’s latest investment will help Advanced Telemetry accelerate its efforts to nab market share early on, it can’t come too soon.