Renewable energy startup Leap raises $8.2M Series A led by Union Square Ventures to expand marketplace for grid flexibility
Would you like to turn your energy resources into revenue? Renewable energy startup Leap might be able to help you. Leap is a marketplace for universal distributed energy resources to participate in the energy market. Leap allows every connected device to help balance the grid, and get paid for it. Access wholesale markets through a single API and help build the flexible, renewable grid of the future.
Today, Leap announced it has raised a total of $8.2 million Series A funding from a combination of equity and debt. The round was led by Union Square Ventures. Leap represents Union Square’s first investment in the energy sector. Silicon Valley Bank funded the debt portion of the capital raise.
Founded in 2017 by Remco van den Elzen, the San Francisco, California-based Leap enables real-time automated trading on energy markets. Leap’s marketplace for grid flexibility grants energy resources including battery energy storage, electric vehicles, and HVAC systems access to global demand response programs, wholesale markets, and real-time pricing through a single API.
“The world needs more devices and applications that manage energy intelligently, and those devices and apps need Leap’s API to interface with energy markets,” said Nick Grossman, partner at Union Square Ventures. “USV has a long history of investing in online networks, marketplaces, and API platforms, and we believe there is a massive need and opportunity to bring these approaches to bear in the energy sector. We are proud to partner with Leap to bring programmability and flexibility to the grid.”
The Series A incorporates support from additional participants, including follow-on funding from existing investors Congruent Ventures, National Grid Partners, Powerhouse Ventures, Elemental Excelerator, and FJ Labs. The new funds, which bring Leap’s total capital raised to approximately $11 million, will be used to enhance and expand operations in new markets and industries, and help grow the team in the United States and the Netherlands. This places Leap in a stronger position to expand the reach of its distributed energy exchange, and also offer new products and services to partners in existing markets.
“We’re thrilled to have Union Square as the lead investor in our new round,” said Thomas Folker, Leap’s co-founder and CEO. “USV is one of the most highly regarded early-stage investors in tech, with an impressive track record of identifying how networks and marketplaces can disrupt entire industries. The electrical grid is undergoing a massive transformation to a grid run on renewable energy. USV’s confidence in Leap speaks volumes to how our marketplace can accelerate this transformation by bringing untapped flexible demand from many thousands of end-customers to help balance the grid.”
Leap’s marketplace enables cloud-connected sources of load to participate in wholesale energy markets, earning revenue by helping to balance the grid. In 2019, Leap announced a partnership with Google Nest to allow its residential smart thermostat customers to contribute demand response services to the grid for the first time. Connected devices across Northern California can provide flexible power to enhance the resiliency of the grid and increase capacity to integrate additional renewable energy. Leap was also selected as one of 17 companies in the eighth cohort of clean technology-focused Elemental Excelerator.