2011 Boulder TechStars graduate Simple Energy has raised $900,000 in seed funding from a group of angel investors, including David Calone, managing director of Jove Equity Partners, and Dean Mathew, the former director of Duke Energy’s VC arm, among others. The company says that the new funding will be used to further develop its product, add enhanced features and integration, and hire additional programmers.
Simple Energy, which offers an interactive, social gaming platform for utilities to engage customers in energy-saving behavior, recently teamed up with San Gas and Electric (SDG&E) to offer an energy-saving contest that will reward top savers with real-world prizes, including the Apple iPad and gift cards to local retailers.
During the contest, the utility’s customers are pitted against each other to see who can save more energy by making changes to their home, like weatherizing doors and windows, sealing air leaks, adjusting thermostats, switching to energy-saving lightbulbs and more. Using data from the home’s smart meter, SDG&E will measure year-over-year energy consumption (kWh) of the participants for three months.
It’s this kind of program and the engagement it creates that prompted his investment, said David Calone, managing director of Jove Equity Partners. “I’ve seen first hand the need for utilities to successfully engage their customers in saving energy. And that is why we’re so excited to be a part of helping Simple Energy deliver its engaging solutions to utilities.”
Other investors in the round include Bart Lorang, Brett Jackson, and Five Mill Ventures.