The end goal of AMEE is for everyone and every organization to know their complete energy use, or their “energy identity,” explained Gavin Starks, CEO of the web services platform that helps track and measure carbon consumption, at our Green:Net 2009 conference last year. To help reach that vision and expand the amount of enterprise carbon accounting firms that use its engine, AMEE has been raising funding and this morning announced that it has raised $5.5 million in a Series B funding round led by Amadeus Capital Partners and including O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and Union Square Ventures.
AMEE, which originally stood for Avoiding Mass Extinctions Engine, was launched by Starks back in 2007 and has now amassed a customer list including the UK Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), SAS, Morgan Stanley, Google, Radiohead and Sun. AMEE’s platform is an open API that aggregates the information needed to monitor carbon emissions and perform carbon calculations for the user. By using a standard methodology and set of data to measure carbon footprints, AMEE can make this nascent practice more reliable, trusted and transparent and perhaps one day lead to the integration of validated carbon information into profiles of everything from goods to actions to people.
Carbon accounting is expected to be a $4 billion market by 2017, driven largely by regulation. However there have been a couple hurdles for this market lately. The bill that could deliver a cap-and-trade system in the U.S., and offer a boost for the carbon accounting market worldwide, seems to be stalled in the Senate this year. And the missed opportunity to provide clarity for the market during Copenhagen led to the biggest drop in European and UN carbon prices over a year-long period.
But a platform like AMEE can help add more stability in carbon prices, Starks explained to me in a phone call last week. Because the engine helps standardize the data and processes and adds transparency, the thought is that it will add a dose of reliability to the market (investors like things like clarity and security). Check out this video of Starks speaking at our Green:Net conference last year, and look for him back at our Green:Net 2010 (April 29 in San Francisco).