GridPoint, one of the largest of the smart grid startups, who aim to more intelligently distribute energy across the electrical grid, has more than doubled up on its prior funding with $120 million. Along with the new money, it has bought out V2Green, which makes software for electric vehicles to efficiently plug into the grid.
This latest move shows a company trying to get a leg up on a bevy of well-funded competitors, who include Silver Spring Networks, SmartSynch, Trilliant and a number of others. All of them offer variations on a communication platform that hooks up home and business electrical connections to utilities, allowing a two-way flow of information.
GridPoint already tries to differentiate itself by providing close measurement of devices in a home or business, like air conditioners and refrigerators, for utilities to better manage their networks, and also helps to tie in alternate energy sources like wind and solar. By picking up V2Green, it will gain the additional edge of smart charging for electric vehicles, which generally means filling their batteries when electricity is cheap and plentiful.
The acquisition also points to a potential opportunity for other entrepreneurs around electric cars. V2Green is an early entrant to the market — for the most part, the vehicles it hopes to serve don’t even exist yet. The company, in fact, only took angel funding for its platform three months ago. Now that it’s off the market, other companies with a similar plan will almost certainly be needed.
GridPoint’s previous funding, capped most recently by a $15 million add-on to its fourth round, had reached $102 million. This $120 million fifth round was provided by previous investors Goldman Sachs, New Enterprise Associates, Susquehana Growth Equity, Perella Weinberg Partners and Robeco.