Racktivity Racks Up $8 Million To Cut Data Center Energy Costs And Emissions

Racktivity— a provider of hardware and software-as-a-service that manages power consumption within data centers— closed an $8 million series B investment, the company announced today. The round was led by Partech International and joined by the startup’s seed investors Big Bang, along with a group of angels based in Europe. The company was founded in Belgium, and recently opened offices in Redwood City, Calif.

The chief executive of Racktivity, Marco DeMiroz, is a former Trinity Ventures partner, and serial clean tech and IT entrepreneur, who took the reigns from founder Kristof De Spiegeleer in June 2010. The company appealed to him then, and its new series B investors because, said DiMiroz:

“It is all about energy costs today. They have been skyrocketing globally! At the same time, data centers have been paring down their staff to run their operations more cost efficiently. You still need human interaction within the data center, though. Our hardware and software are designed to help people manage as many data centers as they need to, remotely. There’s no other venture-backed company offering both the hardware and the software that lets you do this today.”

Racktivity’s hardware— including “pizza box” and vertical power distribution units— is currently being reviewed and tested by Underwriter Labaratories, the de-facto authority for testing and listing electronics as safe and compliant within U.S. electrical codes. The company expects to attain UL-certification by February 2011, DeMiroz said.

Within the data center, Racktivity’s hardware and software-as-a-service is used to monitor installed equipment, generate real-time reports on how it is functioning and how much power the equipment uses, then automatically power down servers and routers that are idle.

With its newly attained capital, Racktivity plans to hire 20 more employees in the next year, and possibly set up manufacturing operations in the U.S. Its products are currently made in Europe. DeMiroz mentioned Racktivity plans to unveil a new “disruptive value proposition” in the spring, but would not elaborate on what features or products this would encompass.

Currently, Ractivity’s customers are data center owners and operators with 300 cabinets or more. The company also sells its wares to small and medium-sized businesses outside of this profile through a partnership with Zenith Infotech.