Upside Energy

Manchester-based Upside Energy has received £5.5m in fresh funding.

The smart energy startup says it will use the cash to hire more people and speed up the commercialisation and deployment of its cloud-based smart-grid platform.

Upside Energy drew investment from Legal & General Capital – the investment arm of the Legal & General Group – and SYSTEMIQ, an investment advisory company.

Modern Energy and Bulldog Innovation Group also invested in the startup’s Series A alongside individual backers.

The startup’s proprietary technology connects suppliers and users and is credited with reducing carbon emissions.

Graham Oakes, Upside’s founder and chief scientist, said: “This is the culmination of four years of hard work since we entered the Nesta Dynamic Demand Challenge, sponsored by National Grid back in 2013.

“We’ve taken Upside Energy’s cloud platform from a wild and speculative idea to a solid, innovative solution to help people harness the opportunities created by the confluence of two trends: the growth of renewable generation and the rise of smart devices.

“Our vision is to create a new, cleaner and more equitable, energy system. This partnership with Legal & General Capital, SYSTEMIQ and Modern Energy will help us realise that vision.”

Upside Energy’s platform aggregates the energy stored in everyday connected devices, such as batteries and hot water tanks, to create a virtual energy store that can be used as needed.

In turn, users can cut their energy costs or earn revenue if they avoid using electricity during peak times.

Upside Energy also received a £470,000 grant from Innovate UK to develop a pilot for its core service and communication protocol, with partners Sharp Laboratories of Europe, Select Innovations (enLight), Tempus Energy and the University of Manchester.