Stem just announced a $15 million add-on from Mithril Capital Management, bringing its Series C total to $68 million and its total venture funding to more than $110 million since its founding as Powergetics in 2010. Other investors in the firm include Angeleno Group, Iberdrola, GE Ventures, Constellation New Energy, Total Energy Ventures, Mitsui & Co., Ltd., and RWE Supply & Trading. 

Stem combines big data, predictive analytics and energy storage to reduce electricity costs for businesses while delivering aggregated services to the grid. 

The company claims to have surpassed 68 megawatt-hours of systems operating and under contract at 440 facilities in California and Hawaii, with more than 2 million hours of runtime, The company's customers include Wells Fargo, Safeway, Whole Foods, and Reliance Steel, and the projects use batteries from Samsung, Panasonic and Tesla Energy.   

Mithril Capital Management co-founder Ajay Royan said in a release, “You can’t have a truly smart grid until you have smart storage, and you can’t have smart storage without smart software. Stem’s technology creates a self-healing grid that increases efficiency and resilience through real-time co-optimization between generators, power users, and utilities."  Peter Thiel is Mithril's other co-founder.

Stem’s utility partners include Southern California Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas & Electric and the Hawaiian Electric Company. The company claims to lead the market in successful bidding into the California Independent System Operator real-time and day-ahead energy markets.

According to a soon-to-be-released quarterly Energy Storage Monitor report from GTM Research, the U.S. deployed 18.3 megawatts of energy storage in Q1 2016. GTM Research forecasts that the U.S. will add a cumulative 5.86 gigawatts and 15.4 gigawatt-hours of energy storage to the grid in the period 2016-2021.

As GTM's Jeff St. John has reported, Self-Generation Incentive Program payouts have helped bolster the underlying business case for behind-the-meter batteries in California, reducing demand charges, which can add up to about half of a commercial or industrial customer’s utility bill. Utilities are another driver for behind-the-meter battery growth. SCE inked long-term procurement contracts for more than 100 megawatts of behind-the-meter storage to be deployed over the next five years from companies including Stem, Advanced Microgrid Solutions, Ice Energy and NRG Energy. 

France’s Engie (the former GDF Suez) just acquired an 80 percent stake in Calif.-based Green Charge Networks, a behind-the-meter battery firm like Stem, and plans to apply Green Charge's energy storage at its commercial, industrial and public energy services customers. Green Charge raised $56 million from K Road DG in 2014 and has about 48 megawatt-hours of storage deployed or under construction. Exergonix just acquired "substantially all of the assets of Coda Energy," a twice-bankrupt California manufacturer of behind-the-meter energy storage systems. Earlier this month, Total, a French oil and gas giant with a $120 billion market cap, offered to acquire French battery specialist Saft for $1.1 billion. That represents a 38 percent premium over Saft's recent closing stock price.

According to the soon-to-be-released Energy Storage Monitor, Q1 2016 produced $79 million in corporate investments in energy storage, more than double the corporate investments over the same period in 2015.