Renewable energy retailer Amber raises $29m as it targets global utilities with smart tech

Renewable energy retailer Amber raises $29m as it targets global utilities with smart tech

(L-R) Mark Rees (Gentrack), Chris Thompson (Amber), Gary Miles (Gentrack) and Dan Adams (Amber).

After doubling the number of customers in the past six months to 30,000 across Australia, Melbourne-based wholesale electricity retailer Amber has completed an oversubscribed $29 million Series C funding round with Auckland-headquartered Gentrack (ASX: GTK) joining a list of key investors such as Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA) and NRMA.

Gentrack, an international billing and CRM (customer relationship management) system provider, tipped $12 million into the round, which saw Dutch group Rubio Impact Ventures join existing Amber shareholders including Alberts, Square Peg and Main Sequence.

Founded in 2017 by Top 100 Young Entrepreneurs listers Chris Thompson and Dan Adams, Amber has now raised $75 million to date with backers drawn to its mix of retail and technology offerings with battery and electric vehicle (EV) automation software, also providing customers with the ability to access real-time energy prices and potentially get paid for the energy generated.

The company's last raise was in late 2022 when it secured a $13.5 million Series B extension with Australia's largest mutual NRMA joining the register, which was soon followed by the $9.5 million acquisition of Melbourne-based energy app Powerpal through a mix of cash and scrip.

The support of Gentrack cements a strategic partnership with Amber to offer international utilities a fully integrated solution, helping the scale-up compete in a fast-growing global utility market for smart device optimisation products.

Amber reports that rooftop solar and battery customers are flocking to the company as its battery automation is now unlocking up to an additional $1,000 a year on average from home batteries for households.

"The last 12 months in the Australian energy market have demonstrated beyond a doubt that individual households with batteries and access to the wholesale price of electricity can benefit financially from the transition to renewable energy," says co-founder and co-CEO Dan Adams.

"The strides Amber has made in creating the software needed to help our battery customers get the most out of their batteries has been validated by our investors with their continuing support and commitment to Amber's growth.

"We’ve got the best technology globally for home battery automation. Our next focus, which will be game-changing for the Australian energy market, will be the technology we are developing around EV batteries to power homes and the grid."

Amber’s Series C will be used to accelerate its growth in Australia, to release its EV to grid automation product (car battery as a home battery) and to start licensing its technology to utilities internationally via a white-labelling scheme through Gentrack’s significant utility customer network globally.

"We are now at the stage where we are ready to license our technology globally. And there is no better partner for us than Gentrack," Adams says.

"By bundling our battery and EV automation software with Gentrack’s billing and CRM system, we will be well positioned to provide the best products on the market to international utilities."

Gentrack CEO Gary Miles says the strategic investment in Amber will catalyse significant value for current and new utility customers.

"Bundling Amber’s award-winning technology, which allows customers to reduce their bills - and even make money from their own electricity generation - with our seamless integrated billing and customer care platform, is a product international utilities are extremely keen to take advantage of," Miles explains.

"I am confident our customers and prospects will find the offering highly compelling."

Rubio founding partner Helmer Schukken says his company shares Amber's vision to drive the grid's transition to 100 per cent renewable power by allowing everyday households to participate in the benefits of flexibility and storage.

"Amber's Smartshift platform for home battery and smart asset automation is a world-leading technology, and Rubio is thrilled to be supporting their efforts to launch new markets in Europe," he says.

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