Optimum Energy is courting some big-name friends this year.

In June, Johnson Controls invested in the Seattle-based startup through Navitas Capital, as part of a $12.2 million funding round. It was the first time Johnson Controls (NASDAQ: JCI) made a semi-direct investment in a startup, according to Nasdaq.

The Series B is now up to $14.2 million, thanks to an additional investment from Edison Energy, a subsidiary of Edison International (NYSE: EIX). The funding round has not closed yet. Optimum also hired on a former GE Energy executive, Erik Leonard, earlier this month.

Optimum focuses on the largest energy hog in most commercial facilities, the HVAC system. The platform provides real-time dynamic commissioning for large, commercial systems, from the chillers to tower fans to pumps and valves. The algorithms regulate airflow while using less of everything, from fan power and chilled water to heating energy.

The funding will be used for research and development and to grow the business, primarily through expanding its workforce, especially its data science team, where top talent doesn’t come cheap.


Another startup that is seeing investment in its data science is GridGlo, which recently changed its name to Trove Predictive Data Science.

Trove just raised $1.1 million in new capital to deploy its data fusion to utility customers. Trove takes data from a range of public records, including geographic information, Department of Motor Vehicle records, and city permits, along with historical consumer data and other public records.

The Delray Beach, Florida-based startup merges all this disparate data with smart meter information. “Besides aggregating, if there are any holes, it basically predicts what that might be,” Isaias Sudit, CEO of Trove, said of the firm's data fusion process. “Most importantly, it creates dependencies and relevancies between the different attributes.”

The latest round of funding was led by CUBRC, a nonprofit research organization with experience using complex algorithms to mash data together into something meaningful. Trove's utility clients include Avista, Oklahoma Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison. 

Trove’s platform can be used for a variety of applications, including revenue protection, energy efficiency, demand management, demand forecasting and distributed generation planning. The new round of funding will be used to build new applications.



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