Powerit Solutions, an automated demand management company, recently announced that it raised $5 million in its latest round of financing, which was led by Black Coral Capital.

The investment, as well as the addition of new CEO Matthew J. Schiltz, will allow the company to add in channel partners in North America and expand its reach in specific manufacturing settings.

Unlike the bulk of demand management/response companies, Powerit Solutions is selectively focusing on one market at a time, starting with the food manufacturing business.

The Swedish-born company, which is now headquartered in Seattle, takes an integrated approach that offers a large amount of control to the customer with the convenience of automation through its Spara EMS. It’s not just about turning things off, it’s about learning about their customers' operations systems to offer a more complete suite of solutions that can be used year-round.

In the case of the food industry, the company is familiar with the equipment and production cycles, allowing for more tailored solutions within the industry. The company is also active in the metals business, and sees the food and beverage industry as a jumping-off point to other manufacturing sectors.

The industry-specific approach and the success it’s already having with those customers was part of the appeal, according to Rob Day of Black Coral Capital. He said that he contacted Powerit, rather than the other way around.

Customers are seeing payback in about 18 months, and in California, where OpenADR, an automated demand response standard, has wide acceptance and there are various incentives in place, some customers are seeing payback in as little as six months.

The company’s Scandinavian roots means that unlike many demand response startups, it already has an international presence. As large companies like Johnson Controls and Honeywell snatch up demand management companies to round out their offerings, keep an eye on Powerit to garner powerful partnerships down the road.

Schiltz’s past five companies earned a spot on the Inc. 500 and/or Fast 50 lists due to their explosive growth, according to a release. Powerit is currently ranked 71 on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 in North America.

Tags: black coral capital, demand management, demand response, openadr, powerit solutions