16-06-2020

AI-powered Gradyent secures €1.9 million investment to make heating networks more efficient and reliable

Helen Ventures, Capricorn Partners and energy innovation fund ENERGIIQ are jointly investing €1.9 million in Gradyent, a Dutch energy analytics solution company. Gradyent has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) cloud platform that helps improve the management and efficiency of district heating networks, making them more sustainable and cost-effective. The investment will allow Gradyent to commercialise its services and further develop its innovative software.


Helen Ventures press release


Strong investment consortium

The investment of almost €2 million is by a European consortium from Finland (Helen Ventures), Belgium (Capricorn Partners) and the Netherlands (ENERGIIQ). Together with existing investor henQ, the investors will support Gradyent with expertise and access to their international networks throughout Europe.

This strategically strong consortium is investing in a young company with an innovative product and a seasoned management team. Founded in early 2019, Gradyent boasts a strong team of entrepreneurs with years of national and international experience in energy, tech and artificial intelligence (AI). This combined with the expected impact and large potential market of Gradyent’s AI-powered solution for heating networks makes it an attractive company for the parties to invest in.

Maarten Lambert, investment associate at Capricorn Partners, says: “Gradyent is a perfect example of how AI technology can transform raw data into actionable insights. We are proud to be part of a company that has the ambition to support businesses on their journey to become more energy efficient and make our planet a better place to live.”

Optimising the efficiency of district heating networks

Many district heating networks run on old control systems with often outdated software solutions that provide limited insight into the network’s efficiency – or lack of it. This gets in the way of innovation and constrains optimisation.

Gradyent’s solution helps district heating companies participate in the sustainability transition by improving the management and efficiency of district heating networks without compromising stability and reliability. Gradyent uses digital twin technology (a replica of real-world objects) built by a unique combination of hydro- and thermodynamic modelling combined with AI. Its AI cloud platform not only provides insight into heating networks but also determines how to optimise them, improving overall efficiency. The solution leads to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions. Customers immediately see a positive financial impact as the solution provides a rapid return on investment. Gradyent is showing good results with its first customers.

As Mikko Huumo, director of Helen Ventures, explains, “In the coming years, energy companies, including Helen, will transform district heating networks into sustainable CO2-neutral heating systems. In practice, large fossil fuel-fired power plants will be replaced with smaller decentralised heat sources and this will increase complexity in the network. Digital tools, like Gradyent's AI platform, will be needed to provide heat efficiently and reliably to customers every single day.”

Continuing the journey

Gradyent will use the funding to commercialise its services and expand its efforts particularly in AI and software development. The company will also move its operations to South Holland, where it will contribute to local job creation.

Hervé Huisman of Gradyent: “More than half of the world’s energy demand is in the form of heating, and our team believes there is a huge potential for improving sustainability by smart optimisation and AI. Our first projects with district heating customers in the Netherlands confirm the potential of our solution, and we are excited about extending the offering to our growing Dutch and international customer base in the coming period. We are extremely proud that we can now continue our journey with Helen Ventures, Capricorn and ENERGIIQ on board. These parties can all add relevant insights and provide access to energy, digital growth and district heating networks. Together with our current investor henQ, we have the perfect foundation for our next chapter!”

Rafael Koene, fund manager at ENERGIIQ: “The ENERGIIQ investment team is impressed with Gradyent and the investment consortium that was formed. We are convinced – also because of the strong management team – that Gradyent will experience strong growth in the coming years and that many heating networks will start using Gradyent’s AI platform. The growth will lead to significant CO2 reduction.”

 

For more information about this topic, please contact:  

Gradyent

Hervé Huisman CEO, +31 0(6) -51 05 63 29, herve@gradyent.ai  

ENERGIIQ

Mathijs van Rijk Investment Manager, +31 0(6) - 14 66 70 01, mathijs.vanrijk@innovationquarter.nl, www.energiiq.nl  

Helen Ventures

Mikko Huumo, director, Helen Ventures, puh. +35850 312 3925, mikko.huumo@helen.com

About Gradyent

Gradyent is an AI-enabled cloud platform that improves heating networks in terms of efficiency and reliability. Heating comprises more than half of the world’s energy supply, and about a third of that goes to waste. Gradyent’s vision is that breakthrough energy savings can be achieved by its advanced design, modelling and control techniques, which are now rapidly driving impact at a growing number of networks. For more information about Gradyent, please visit http://www.gradyent.ai

About Helen Ventures

Helen Ventures invests 50 million euros in the most innovative and transformative European startups in the energy, e-mobility, circular economy, decarbonisation and digital solutions sectors. Together we supercharge the future. We accelerate the growth of early and growth stage companies through our profound energy market insights and by collaborating with our customers and industry experts. Helen Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of Helen Ltd., an energy company giving everyone the chance to enjoy the opportunities of the new energy era. https://www.helenventures.fi/

About Capricorn Partners

Capricorn Partners is an independent European manager of venture capital and equity funds, investing in innovative European companies with technology as competitive advantage. The investment team of Capricorn is composed of experienced investment managers with deep technology expertise and a broad industrial experience. Capricorn Partners is managing the venture capital funds Capricorn Digital Growth Fund, Capricorn Sustainable Chemistry Fund, Capricorn ICT Arkiv, Capricorn Health‐tech Fund and Capricorn Cleantech Fund. In addition it is the management company of Quest for Growth, quoted on NYSE Euronext Brussels, and the investment manager of Quest Cleantech Fund and Quest+, sub‐funds of Quest Management SICAV, registered in Luxembourg (www.capricorn.be).

About ENERGIIQ

ENERGIIQ is the energy innovation fund of the Province of South Holland and is administered by InnovationQuarter, the regional development agency for South Holland. The Province of South Holland has earmarked €35 million for ENERGIIQ, which invests in businesses that are ready to commercialise a proven energy innovation. Innovations should lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions and/or the creation of jobs in the Province of South Holland.

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