€50,000 investment to help Estonian startup innovate demand response

Smart Energy Fund powered by Lietuvos Energija, managed by Contrarian Ventures and startup FuseBox OÜ have closed a pre-seed round.

The Estonian start-up received a €50,000 investment

The investment will be used to fund the development of a platform which will enable electricity consumers to become active market participants, contribute to the network balancing process. The system is also expected to help ensure competitive electricity prices at peak use times.

Having attracted pre-seed investments, Fusebox will also participate in the Accelerator One start-up platform run by Contrarian Ventures and Lietuvos Energija.

Lietuvos Energija and Elering, one of the largest energy companies in the Baltic states, will try the platform developed by the start-up.

“Lietuvos Energija continues to implement the goal set out in the LE 2030 strategy by investing in innovation and new technologies. Having developed its service, Fusebox will help energy-intensive companies reduce the demand for electricity in the hours when it is most expensive. The development of the service is still at an early stage, but having successfully implemented it, we could help businesses save funds and contribute to balancing the entire electricity system”, says board member of Lietuvos Energija and director of infrastructure and development Dominykas Tučkus.

The service developed by Fusebox will enable consumers to react to changes on the market. For example, in the hours when energy consumption increases and exceeds electricity supply, companies will receive notifications suggesting it is time to reduce energy consumption.

This way, reducing electricity demand would not require using additional electricity generation resources. In some cases, investments in network infrastructure would be managed more effectively and electricity consumers would benefit directly.

“FuseBox has done feasibility studies, technical tests and business model development for Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian electricity markets since 2014. Baltic electricity systems face a new era in terms of renewable energy and changing market conditions.

Electricity systems need to rise to those new challenges to maintain the reliability and security of the electricity grid,“ says Darius Žakaitis, partner in Contrarian Ventures.

At the initial stage of the development of the service, Fusebox partners are energy-intensive companies, including cold storages, shopping centers and office buildings. It is expected that in the future Fusebox platform will be available to small producers of electricity too.

“The business model is comparable to Uber’s in that we make use of excess capacity to drive efficiency and excellence in customer service. We do not own any generation assets but rather we use our customers’ spare capacity to balance the electricity transmission network, operated by TSO/DSO,” says Tarvo Ong, the founder and CEO of Fusebox.

Currently, Fusebox is planning to build a virtual, fast-changing power plant with a capacity of 90MW by using 1,500 different buildings. This virtual power plant would mainly be used for balancing the electricity network instead of switching to fossil fuel operated power plants.

Smart Energy Fund powered by Lietuvos Energija, managed by Contrarian Ventures invests in start-ups that are developing new technologies in the energy field. The Fund also manages the AcceleratorOne Programme, which together with Lietuvos Energija invests in start-ups and helps them grow. The programme tests pilot products and services in the local market, providing further opportunity to grow internationally. AcceleratorOne invites everyone to submit early-stage start-up applications for the 2018 programme in Vilnius Tech Park community.