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Toronto-based tech company to expand in Halifax
If and when workers return to offices, EnergyX will soon be looking for more space at the Volta start up incubator in downtown Halifax.
The Toronto-based tech company has completed a $1-million dollar round of fund raising, led by BDC Capital, and bringing to $5-million the total Energy X has raised since its inception in 2016.
In Halifax, the company| will grow from two employees to five this year, then doubling in size again next year.
“We have a track record of investing in enterprise SaaS (software as a service) businesses and EnergyX Solutions fit our investment criteria perfectly - business software, a great product and impressive customer traction within a large addressable market that solves a significant global problem,” Kyle Feucht of BDC Capital said in a release.
Nishaant Sangaavi, EnergyX CEO and co-founder, said Monday there are a few reasons he maintains a presence in Nova Scotia.
“Energy efficiency is a high growth sector there…we see close to 2,500 Nova Scotians currently working in it,” he said. “We started EnergyX in 2016, and since 2016 there’s been one hundred and forty per cent growth in energy efficiency employment in Nova Scotia, which is a positive for us.”
Sangaavi says about 370 businesses in Nova Scotia are supporting the sector, or are employed in it as installers or auditors, or working for heat pump companies. That gives EnergyX a decent employment pool from which to choose.
“We also do a lot of business in the northeast (U.S.), New England Energy, for example, is a client of ours,” he said. “So, we’re finding that by having a hub in Halifax, that it’s servicing the northeast client and the northeast market as well. It’s become a good strategic place to grow the team.”
EnergyX says buildings account for 36 per cent of global energy use and 39 per cent of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions annually, making the improvement of buildings the most straightforward way to reduce emissions. The company says its Retrofit AI software identifies homes and other buildings most in need of upgrades and deep retrofitting to make them more efficient.
The company’s software tools have been used in five million homes across North America.
“What the platform essentially does is help utilities automate all their energy efficiency programs,” said Sangaavi. “Utilities across the U.S. and Canada run different programs and homeowners…can apply to these programs, enroll in them and eventually end up saving energy. Our technology helps run that, we’ve automated that entire process for utilities, we help them with incentives and rebates. And on the front end we help homeowners apply for programs and qualify for them, and eventually realize the savings.”
In the Maritimes, EnergyX clients include Efficiency PEI and Efficiency One in Nova Scotia. Other clients include Enbridge Gas in Ontario and a dozen or so utilities across California, Ohio, Washington, D.C. and New England.
“Having a significant number of utilities that are adopting the technology shows that we are indeed filling a business need,” Sangaavi said.
Describing fundraising as “an art,” he said utilities are looking for more ways to engage with their customers, instead of just selling them electricity or gas, and that investors understand the importance of solving a problem that’s global.
“We truly believe that energy efficiency is the most direct and substantial way to fight climate change,” said Sangaavi. “And we’re finding that more and more countries, and investors, understand the importance of climate change and want to be part of (addressing) it.”