Latest funding round supports smart metering firm in providing unique technologies for reliable electricity in even the most remote locations
18 July 2019 MANCHESTER, UK — SteamaCo, a UK-based technology supplier to utilities in Africa and Asia, today announces its $5m Series B equity financing. This latest round of funding supports the company's continued technology development and growth, enabling reliable electricity services for hundreds of thousands of previously underserved people across 10 countries. Praetura Ventures and Shell co-led the investment round, with participation from existing shareholders.
SteamaCo’s smart metering technology and cloud software run on less than 100kB of communications data per meter per month. This is 100 times more efficient than comparable services and enables utilities to operate in previously unreachable locations. The potential market for such technologies is vast. Mini grids, for example, could provide electricity for up to 500 million people by 2030, according to a recent World Bank report.
Harrison Leaf, CEO and Co-founder at SteamaCo, said, “We are delighted to welcome Praetura and honoured to have continued participation from existing shareholders. Automation is a key part of the historic privatisation of utilities in Africa and Asia. Tens of thousands of times each day, our product processes tariffs, monitors grid health and helps technicians, agents and consumers seamlessly go about their daily business. It is hugely motivating to everyone at SteamaCo that our work helps bring electricity to those who have never had it.”
David Foreman, Chief Executive Officer at Praetura Ventures, said, “We are very impressed with the team’s strategy and the unique capabilities of their product. We are pleased to announce SteamaCo among the initial investments from our first £15m enterprise investment scheme fund. We are excited to work with both SteamaCo and Shell to support the business as it continues to grow.”
“SteamaCo has expanded over the last two years, including deployments in Nigeria, Kenya, and India,” said Brian Davis, Shell Vice President Energy Solutions. “Through its support of mini grid operations, SteamaCo is just one example of how Shell is moving towards its ambition to deliver a reliable electricity supply to 100 million people in the developing world by 2030.”
SteamaCo was advised by AltRaise and Pannone Corporate LLP.
SteamaCo is a specialist technology supplier to utilities in Africa and Asia. Up to two billion underserved energy consumers live in places where the cost to serve is high and the network connectivity is scarce. SteamaCo's data-efficient energy management system enables utilities to serve this market effectively. Founded in 2012, SteamaCo is headquartered at Manchester Science Park, one of the UK’s leading science and technology campuses, with offices in Kenya. SteamaCo is a 2018 Cleantech 100 One to Watch company.
About Praetura Ventures
Praetura Ventures is a Venture Capital firm that aims to bridge the estimated £300m venture capital funding gap for scaling businesses in the North West of the UK. Having invested more than £100m since 2011 with four successful exits to date at an average of 8x return, the organization has a proven track record in backing early-stage companies. Praetura's newly formed £15m EIS fund invests in high-growth early-stage tech or IP enabled businesses. Praetura invests in ambitious, early stage companies.
About Shell New Energies
Shell’s New Energies business was created in 2016 and focuses on two main areas: new fuels for transport, such as advanced biofuels and hydrogen; and power, which includes low-carbon sources such as wind and solar. Within the power portfolio, Shell is also actively pursuing commercial opportunities to invest in energy access solutions in Africa and Asia. The New Energies business is supported by Shell Ventures B.V., the corporate venture capital arm of Royal Dutch Shell PLC (“Shell”).