By: Zulfe Ali, Managing Partner, C5 Capital
Electricity infrastructure is at the nexus between some of our most critical global challenges and their solutions through technology and innovation. There is immediate need to dramatically increase investment focused on the transition to clean and sustainable energy in support of decarbonization and the health of our planet. Investment decisions, however, have become increasingly complex and cannot rely on traditional approaches of simply adding more transmission or distribution infrastructure. Building a smart, resilient, and clean electricity grid network that meets our current and future needs requires the ability to optimize solutions from a menu of new technologies – smart meters, EV charging stations, variable renewables, batteries, and storage, etc. To do this successfully, it is imperative to harness and utilize the vast data that flows through electricity networks.
We invested in Kevala because it empowers utilities, regulators, electric vehicle manufacturers, and developers of distributed energy resources to make smarter decisions. The company has developed the industry’s most comprehensive and interactive cloud-based grid analytics toolbox powered by big data on the electricity grid. Kevala’s platform allows its customers to process grid data, map the carbon intensity of different energy sources, identify new locations for solar farms, optimize locations for electric vehicle charging stations, assess vulnerabilities in critical public infrastructure, and much more. These are the necessary capabilities required to evolve our electricity networks into smart, resilient, and clean-energy infrastructure.
We invested in Kevala because the scale of the opportunity is as immense as it is important and it is growing rapidly. Global investment in electricity grids in 2019 reached over $270 billion, with the strongest growth happening in the U.S. Public focus on climate issues and demand for decarbonization has inspired actions at both government and corporate levels broadly. The new $1.2 trillion bipartisan U.S. infrastructure bill contains multiple agenda items that will provide tailwinds for Kevala, including grid upgrades, energy efficiency in buildings, and climate-focused transportation. To serve the estimated 20 million electric vehicles expected to be on U.S. roads by 2030, up to $125 billion must be invested in new infrastructure beginning immediately.
We invested in Kevala because C5 Capital is uniquely positioned to support the company’s growth aspirations into new geographies and new markets. Kevala’s technology and platform are built to be highly scalable across the globe and we believe Europe and Asia are near term expansion opportunities. The company’s strategic perspective and insight across critical public infrastructure positions Kevala as an important partner on national security and cyber security matters. C5 Capital will utilize its international presence and its deep understanding and networks within the national and cyber security sectors to ensure Kevala’s successful deployment in these markets.
Finally, we invested in Kevala because of the passion and commitment demonstrated by the founder and management team. They are represented by decades of experience and innovation within the energy sector, utility regulation, and tech start-ups, and they share a unifying mission of creating a highly impactful global business that enables tangible and positive contributions towards decarbonization and a cleaner environment.
C5 Capital believes that we are at the front end of a very dramatic transformation of the world’s energy infrastructure, and electricity grid networks are at the center of this evolution. There is strong alignment across governments and the private sector to allocate resources, set agendas, and even change behaviors to support transition to a more resilient, sustainable, and smart infrastructure. The opportunity is immense and Kevala is positioned to empower all stakeholders with the tools and information they need to act decisively. We look forward to participating in this journey.