2030 Finance | April 15, 2019

Household energy trading startup Verv secures £6.5 million

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, April 15 – U.K.-based startup Verv makes a home-energy monitoring system designed to help people save on energy consumption. It also helps those with home solar systems to trade excess energy. The company raised a £6.5 million Series A led by environmental investment company Earthworm.

Verv launched in 2015 with a smart home energy system that tracks household energy consumption to the individual appliance. The system uses artificial intelligence to predict consumption habits and make suggestions to people about how to cut their energy usage.

The company’s vision is to integrate its home system into a peer-to-peer energy trading platform across the U.K. and Europe. “With an ability to predict the supply and demand of energy of a home, our intention is to ensure trading is done at optimal times in advance, reducing costs and prioritizing green energy consumption,” Verv states on its website. Its trading model is blockchain based to provide “a secure and transparent ledger through which energy can be traded on a [peer-to-peer] basis.”

The company’s goal for the platform is to provide lower-cost energy to U.K. residents, in particular low-income residents in public housing and private affordable housing complexes. Verv first tested its trading platform in 2018 with a social housing development in London’s Hackney neighborhood.

Prior to its Series A funding, Verv was backed by Innogy International Middle East, Scytale Ventures, U.K. energy company Centrica and equity crowdfunding. Centrica converted its prior investment, a convertible loan, into shares in Verv’s Series A round.

Verv’s latest investor, Earthworm, is an investment company that launched in 2008 to help the U.K. accelerate recycling. Its focus has expanded to include recycling, waste management, power generation and renewable energy. It manages £85 million in capital through a variety of investment vehicles, including an environmental offering that is available to any U.K. taxpayer with a minimum investment of £10,000. After repaying investors, Earthworm pledges 10% of profits to charity, 10% to its employees, and 10% into new investment product development.