- Former FERC Commissioner Nora Mead Brownell joins Copper Labs’ Board of Directors
- Clean Energy Ventures leads round with participation from existing investors National Grid Partners and Blue Bear Capital
BOULDER, Colo. (March 15, 2022) – Copper Labs, a technology provider that unlocks real-time grid-edge data for gas, water and electric utilities, announced $5.5M in Series A financing led by Clean Energy Ventures (CEV), a venture capital firm funding early-stage climate tech innovation, with follow-on participation from National Grid Partners and Blue Bear Capital. With the new round of funding, Copper Labs plans to grow its sales, engineering and marketing teams over the next year to accelerate adoption nationally across utility territories. In addition to the funding, Copper Labs welcomes Nora Mead Brownell, Clean Energy Ventures Venture Partner and former FERC Commissioner, to its board of directors.
Utilities are trying to earn customer trust via personalized experiences while simultaneously grappling with an increasingly decarbonized, decentralized and digitized grid. Copper is a patented solution that provides utilities with revenue-grade, real-time intelligence without the need for expensive overhauls that take years to start delivering value.
“For water and gas utilities that can only access meter data every thirty days, or electric municipal and cooperatives that lack the resources of larger investor-owned utilities, Copper and our partners deliver an affordable path to a smarter grid by leveraging existing meters and data backhaul networks, with or without smart meters. Data is the key to building a more resilient grid and engaging the right consumers at the right time to create load flexibility,” said Dan Forman, CEO of Copper Labs.
Sharing Copper Labs’ disruptive vision for grid modernization is its newest board director, Nora Mead Brownell, who previously served as Commissioner at FERC and president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), and today is the co-founder of Espy Energy Solutions, an energy consulting firm and a Venture Partner with Clean Energy Ventures.
“The Copper Labs team is on a mission to help utilities plan for a future with strained and limited resources all while recreating delivery systems fit for purpose. I’m excited to support the team as they empower customers and partner with mature industries adapting to rapidly changing externalities for a more sustainable future,” Brownell said.
Data is the central pillar to the energy transition
Together with Copper, some of the most innovative utilities and solutions partners in the U.S. are leveraging real-time energy usage data for consumer engagement that is personalized to drive behavior change while measuring and verifying program performance at the meter. Later this year, the company will expand its product line beyond the current in-home hardware to also offer a scalable neighborhood-level solution that reduces deployment costs and timing to deliver real-time grid-edge intelligence.
In an era of increasing urgency to decarbonize the grid, Copper Labs enables near real-time visibility into energy usage and voltage data, creating more predictable demand and a channel to engage targeted consumers when it matters most to the grid. By disaggregating the large loads that matter to utilities such as EV chargers and keeping consumers engaged with real-time insights, utilities can skip the typical guesswork and take control of energy demand in real-time.
“Copper Labs’ unmatched visibility and insights into energy and water usage are instrumental in enabling energy efficiency and accelerating renewables adoption, and we believe the technology, once adopted at scale, will contribute to mitigating over 2.5 gigatons of carbon emissions between now and 2050,” said David Miller, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Clean Energy Ventures. “As the need for the management and reduction of demand on the grid escalates, utilities and consumers are hungry for the data and intelligence that Copper Labs can uniquely and cost effectively provide.”
“Copper Labs’ demand management and grid modernization solutions help utilities navigate the growing challenges of balancing intermittent renewables, distributed energy resources and, up to now, unpredictable demand as we all work to decarbonize the grid,” said Lisa Lambert, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer and Founder & President of National Grid Partners.
“With or without smart meters, Copper Labs opens up a high frequency data trove for consumers, utilities and smart home providers to enable faster decision making. And we’re thrilled to partner again with Copper Labs on this next phase of growth alongside leading investors in this industry,” said Dr. Carolin Funk, partner at Blue Bear Capital.
About Copper Labs
Copper delivers real-time, grid-edge usage and voltage data to utilities, solutions partners, device vendors and network operators to accelerate the energy transition. The insights from Copper’s patented solutions empower its customers to make smarter grid decisions across electric, gas and water infrastructure, provide more personalized services, and orchestrate load flexibility when it matters most. Copper is fully compatible with grids across the intelligence spectrum, uncovering visibility at speed and scale for a fraction of the price of existing solutions. Visit CopperLabs.com for more information.
About Clean Energy Ventures
Clean Energy Ventures is a $110 million venture capital firm investing in early-stage climate tech startups that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2.5 gigatons of CO2e each between now and 2050, while providing venture-grade returns to our investors. Learn more at cleanenergyventures.com.
About Blue Bear Capital
Blue Bear is a venture capital and early growth equity firm driving digital technologies into multibillion-dollar verticals across energy, infrastructure, and climate industries. The team comes together from leading energy private equity firms and features technology expertise from the tech startup world alongside operational leadership from large-scale technology developers and adopters. Blue Bear’s portfolio covers operational AI, IoT, and cybersecurity technologies, all deployed with enterprise customers to drive connectivity and efficiency across the world’s most critical industries. Learn more at www.bluebearcap.com and @BlueBearCap.
Mission Control Communications for Clean Energy Ventures