UK smart energy IT developer Piclo receives VC support

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The public-private Clean Growth Fund makes its first venture capital investment into smart energy and flexibility marketplace developer Piclo.

Piclo is receiving £1.5 million ($2 million) from the £40 million fund, which will support the development of its offerings and its future growth in the UK and in international markets.

Piclo, founded in 2013 as Open Utility, was developed as a peer-to-peer platform matching renewable buyers and sellers. A natural next step was the growing flexibility marketplace and the Piclo Flex platform evolved for the procurement of flexibility services by network operators.

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Piclo has commercially partnered with five of the six UK distribution network operators and is collaborating with National Grid ESO to enable new flexibility markets. The company also has undertaken peer-to-peer trials in the Netherlands and Italy.

In July, Piclo secured its first international Piclo Flex collaboration to pilot with the Slovenian electricity transmission system operator (TSO), ELES.

Piclo is also a partner in the EU funded OneNet Project, which kicked off in October with the goal to advance the flexibility market in Europe.

“It is fantastic that the Clean Growth Fund has chosen to invest in Piclo, with the Fund’s philosophy truly matching our mission of building a decarbonised and sustainable future,” said James Johnston, CEO and co-founder of Piclo.

“The investment by the Clean Growth Fund marks the next, big step forward in Piclo’s journey, facilitating and growing flexibility markets: be prepared for more flexibility, more markets and more partnerships both in the UK and abroad.”

The Clean Growth Fund was launched in May by the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and CCLA Fund Managers to invest in early stage clean technologies that support the country’s net zero objective. The target is £100 million fund size by November 2021.

“Piclo is precisely the type of clean-tech company that the Clean Growth Fund wants to invest in. Over time we will unlock value for our investors whilst supporting the UK’s journey towards net zero,” said Beverley Gower-Jones, managing partner of the Clean Growth Fund, who will join the board of Piclo.