Industrial Internet-of-Things (IoT) startup Axiom Exergy raises $7.6 million for thermal energy storage technology
IoT startup Axiom Exergy has raised $7.6 million in Series A funding to continue to bring flexible energy storage solutions to grocery stores and cold storage facilities. The current round was co-led by GXP Investments and Shell Ventures with participation from WorldQuant Ventures, SV Tech Ventures and Meson Capital. Previous investors in Axiom Exergy include Tesla CTO JB Straubel, Larry Mohr, Seabed VC, and the Stanford-StartX Fund. This brings its funding to a total of $12.5 million to date.
Founded in 2014 by Amrit Robbins and Anthony Diamond, Axiom Exergy transforms the world’s cooling systems into intelligent, cloud-connected energy storage assets. Its Refrigeration Battery® technology enables historically-inflexible commercial and industrial refrigeration systems to operate flexibly and intelligently for the first time. With deep expertise in supermarket energy management, thermal energy systems engineering, cloud software development, and data analytics. The company also took the first place in the National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition organized by the Department of Energy.
“Energy storage is a critical technology that enables the ongoing deployment of renewables on the grid,” said Dennis Odell, Vice President at GXP Investments. “Axiom Exergy has developed a unique, intelligent solution that provides unparalleled distributed energy benefits to supermarkets and cold storage facilities and delivers immediate value to these underserved markets.”
“Axiom’s Refrigeration Battery platform transforms large, inflexible refrigeration systems into intelligent, flexible, long-duration batteries,” said Vikas Gupta, Venture Principal of Shell Ventures. “This could position Axiom as the energy industry’s gateway to the cold chain. We are excited to be supporting a unique power management platform designed for refrigerated facilities.”
Axiom Exergy’s Refrigeration Battery can increase profit margins for supermarkets and cold storage facilities by reducing peak energy demand by up to 40 percent and shifting electricity consumption to off-peak hours when it is less expensive. By leveraging the store’s existing refrigeration system, the Refrigeration Battery ‘stores cooling’ at night by freezing tanks of salt water when electricity costs are low. Then, during the day when electricity prices are high, the Refrigeration Battery ‘discharges’ by providing uninterrupted cooling services to the facility rather than running the power-hungry central refrigeration systems.
Axiom Exergy offers the Refrigeration Battery to its customers via its Savings-as-a-Service contract, requiring no upfront capital or out-of-pocket expenses for the life of the project. It provides valuable energy services that more than cover the ongoing service fees, enabling supermarket owners to reserve precious capital for revenue-generating investments. The technology has an estimated lifespan of 30 years.
“The Axiom Exergy team has combined its cost-effective thermal energy storage system with its advanced predictive data analytics engine to provide valuable energy flexibility to the cold chain,” said Mark Danchak, Managing Director of WorldQuant Ventures. “This is a market where lowering energy costs and reducing operational risk have big impacts on the bottom line.”
The funding positions Axiom Exergy to scale their thermal energy storage solution in large, multi-site rollouts at grocery stores and cold storage facilities. Additionally, Axiom plans to begin rolling out additional features of the Refrigeration Battery platform (such as grid services) and addressing new segments of the world’s cooling markets.
“Refrigeration systems, which account for more than nine percent of commercial energy consumption, must operate around the clock to keep the food cold. As electricity grids and prices become increasingly unstable, inflexible refrigerated facilities find themselves in a difficult position,” said Amrit Robbins, CEO and co-founder of Axiom Exergy. “Utilities manage intermittent renewable generation and spiky electric vehicle charging loads through price signals to customers, and grocery stores are currently unable to respond to these price signals in a meaningful way. The Refrigeration Battery is the ideal solution to enable energy flexibility for the cold chain and it simultaneously helps enable more renewables on the grid. We’re excited to find so many food retailers, investors, and electrical utilities that share our vision of transforming refrigeration systems into flexible, intelligent energy storage assets.”
Axiom Exergy’s Refrigeration Battery is currently installed at both Walmart and Amazon (Whole Foods) stores. In 2017, Axiom Exergy founders Amrit Robbins and Anthony Diamond were named in the Forbes list of 30 Under 30 for Energy.