24 May – Sigora International Inc. has raised USD $200,000 from the Clean Energy Trust 501vc Investment Program, which invests in high-potential cleantech startups based in the Midwest, as part of a $2.5M Series A round. On Wednesday, May 23rd, at CET’s Co-Invest Cleantech event in Chicago, Vice President of Grid Engineering Mr.Frank Bergh officially announced the funding round, which is intended to finalize the utility-management systems provider’s technology development in anticipation of the commercial launch of its proprietary smart-meter in 2019.
“We aim to expand the Sigora platform to foster financially sustainable utility companies that power and empower developing communities and entrepreneurs” said Mr.Bergh to the audience of over 300 energy investors, executives, and entrepreneurs.
Sigora International, whose labs were recently relocated from San Francisco to Chicago, provides utility-management systems for energy providers targeting the 1.3 billion people in frontier markets without a grid connection. Using a smart meter custom-built for emerging markets, web-managed software, and simple payment solutions, the Sigora platform streamlines bill collection, reduces revenue losses, and deters energy theft – a significant barrier to expanding grid access in developing countries where electricity theft amounts to a loss to utilities of over USD $60 billion annually.
“Sigora International is poised to enable utilities – both established and new market entrants – to increase operational efficiency, lower losses, and meet customer demands for affordable, productive, and reliable electricity” says Founder and CEO, Andy Bindea.
Currently, Sigora deploys its technology via its wholly-owned, direct subsidiaries in Haiti in Zambia, and has 4,000+ units in the field, serving 20,000+ daily electricity users and counting.
Speaking at the event, Mr.Bergh publicly unveiled a suite of functionalities new to the platform, including among others the industry’s first electricity encryption anti-theft platform. The new functionality, which complements existing hardware and software theft detection systems, renders stolen power unusable, thereby protecting revenues for the utility without jeopardizing the safety and service of other consumers on the grid.
Sigora joins three other new companies that will join CET’s current investment portfolio of 23 and which were selected from over one-hundred applications through a rigorous due diligence process.
Clean Energy Trust’s investment in Sigora International was made out of its Illinois Clean Energy Innovation Fund, an investment vehicle funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s State Energy Program, through the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
About Sigora International Inc.
Sigora International was founded in 2016 and offers the first fully vertically-integrated energy payments and control platform engineered for last-mile and grid-edge connectivity in frontier markets. For both established urban grid utilities and rural micro-grid developers, Sigora’s platform transforms energy access for underserved markets into bankable business. By re-imagining what a meter can do, Sigora makes it possible for utilities large and small to build bankable grids in unconnected and underserved communities. Sigora is a proud winner of the 2017 Microsoft Affordable Access Initiative, which recognizes innovative businesses that are developing technologies, services, and business models that help billions of people affordably get online and gain access to energy. Learn more at www.sigora.co
About Clean Energy Trust
Clean Energy Trust funds and grows early-stage clean energy startups in the Midwest through direct investment and venture development. Since Clean Energy Trust first began investing in funding cleantech startups in 2014, it has invested in 27 companies from 11 Midwestern states and these companies have raised an additional $65 million in follow on funding after Clean Energy Trust’s initial investment.
Natasha Skreslet, Director of Communications and Impact