GIJON, April 18, 2023 - Climate tech startup Plexigrid has just raised €4.5M in its second investment round. Investors include Swedish Polar Structure, Vargas Holding, and TheVentureCity. Plexigrid contributes to the energy transition by making electricity grids more efficient and flexible through digitalization.
The mass shift to clean energy means that societies are replacing fuel-burning cars and appliances with electric ones. That is causing the demand for fossil-free electricity to soar. But our 100-year-old electricity grids were not built to handle these new loads. As a result, the waiting time to connect wind, solar, and charging infrastructure to the grid is already long and increasing. In the United States alone, over 8,000 energy projects are stalled as they wait for permission to connect to electric grids. To deal with demand, grids worldwide need major reinforcements, and the IEA estimates that to achieve net zero in the next 30 years, we need to invest $820B per year into grids by 2030.
Plexigrid’s AI software enables more efficient utilization of the electricity grid to handle demand better within its current capacity. Plexigrid is used by electric grid operators to automatically adjust people’s energy consumption according to usage in their area. It increases electricity supply to users when demand is low and decreases supply when there’s so much demand that it risks creating bottlenecks. That means devices that do not require electricity at specific times – such as EV chargers – are supplied with electricity outside of peak usage times, such as during the night, without negatively impacting residents.
By simply “flattening the curve” of energy consumption, Plexigrid can reduce grid costs by 35 to 40 percent. As a result, it can enable grid operators to meet users’ rising electricity demands while crucially getting more green energy online. This also significantly reduces costs for the end consumers, who are often left footing the bill when grids are overloaded.
“In communities worldwide, the lack of network capacity presents challenges and bottlenecks that delay the energy transition. At Polar Structure, we invest in infrastructure that contributes to a more sustainable society and enables local communities to transition within transport, energy, and digitalization. This is an important investment since Plexigrid’s solution is revolutionizing how electricity network operators optimize existing infrastructure,” says Tobias Emanuelsson, CEO and founder, Polar Structure.
“There is huge potential in utilizing existing grid infrastructure more efficiently. With Plexigrid’s solution, in combination with the expansion of fossil-free energy sources, we can accelerate electrification and the green transition,” says Carl-Erik Lagercrantz, CEO of Vargas Holding.
Despite the weakness of the capital market, the company received a strong valuation, and the investment round was oversubscribed. This demonstrates widespread confidence in Plexigrid’s technology, which addresses a critical societal challenge, according to co-founder and CEO Alberto Méndez Rebollo, previously Regional CEO at Siemens-Gamesa and Head of Wind at Vattenfall.
“Unlike most people raising capital right now, we have had the opportunity to carefully choose who will own this company. We have brought in long-term players who have extensive experience of the energy transition and understand the need to adapt and streamline electricity networks around the world” says Alberto Méndez Rebollo.
Plexigrid’s technology is based on creating a real-time digital twin of the electricity grid. In October 2022, the European Commission predicted investments of €170 billion by 2030 to digitize electricity networks and identified digital twins as an essential part of the solution. At the same time, a major change in policy and regulation of the energy sector is underway to drive a more innovative, efficient, and green electricity system. The US is driving similar efforts with the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, its largest energy transition bill in history.
“Two years ago, we made the decision to support this extraordinary effort and the A-team that we believe has the vision and capacity to solve one of the largest challenges of the energy transition. Now Plexigrid is being recognized as a thought and technology leader in its segment. The decision to renew our investment was unanimous,” comments Andrés Dancausa, Managing Partner for EMEA at TheVentureCity.
Linda-Maria Wadman, Business Development Manager, Plexigrid
+46 703 810 802
Alberto Mendez Rebollo, CEO, Plexigrid
+46 738 482 436
Tobias Emanuelsson, CEO and founder, Polar Structure AB
+46 738 391 810
Maria Stern, Press Contact, Vargas Holding
+46 70 571 04 17
Andrés Dancausa, General Partner, TheVentureCity
+34 696 83 36 67
Plexigrid is a technology provider that develops software to optimize the planning and operation of electricity networks at the distribution level. Plexigrid’s solutions can increase the utilization rate of the network and free up capacity by using flexibility to integrate more renewable energy, charging infrastructure, heat pumps and energy storage. The company is based in Gijón, Spain and Stockholm, Sweden. Plexigrid was founded in 2020 by Alberto Méndez, former Regional CEO at Siemens-Gamesa and Head of Wind at Vattenfall; Rubén Medina, Head of Engineering and Construction at OX2 and Vattenfall; and Pablo Arbóleya, Professor of Electrical Power Engineering at the University of Oviedo.
Polar Structure AB
Polar Structure AB is a privately owned Swedish company that develops and owns infrastructure-related assets that contribute to a more resilient and sustainable society. We enable the transition, both today and tomorrow through long-term ownership. Polar Structure has a clear holistic perspective within the framework of infrastructure and sustainability and is active in railways, logistics, energy storage, and charging infrastructure as well as digitization and renewable energy.
Vargas is a long-term investor in and active owner of purpose-driven companies, with the ambition to establish regional or global leadership. Together with bold entrepreneurs, we build competitive large-scale companies from scratch that accelerate the green transition and enable a sustainable future. Vargas has so far founded and scaled companies within energy storage, green batteries, green steel and hydrogen, through Polarium, Northvolt and H2 Green Steel.
TheVentureCity is a global, early-stage venture fund that refuses to follow the conventional crowd. We offer promising founders investment with bespoke data insights and operating expertise – designed for product-led growth. With hubs in Miami, Madrid, San Francisco and Sao Paulo, we see beyond borders and create a steady current of resources for founders on the cutting edge of ventures. Expect more from your venture capital.