Plugging away: CarbonTRACK raises $1 million
The carbonTRACK app allows users to track their home’s energy use and pinpoint the most expensive areas, as well as remotely turn appliances on or off.
Geoff Gourley and Julio de Laffitte of Impact Investment Fund led the round.
Gourley had been working with the startup for some time.
“I love the product so much and I believe in the people, I think it’ll be a booming business,” Gourley says.
“I’m always on the lookout for leading-edge technology that provides environmental outcomes.”
Gourley, who is joining carbonTRACK’s board as a director, will be focusing on global expansion and strategic partnerships.
Rapid growth in Australia
The new investment round places a $22.5 million valuation on the Melbourne-based startup, an increase from last year’s $15 million valuation following a $1.1 million Series A investment.
It follows from the company’s steady growth in Australia and overseas after signing a number of partnerships with Australian solar providers, and the likes of Optus, KFC and Subway. The startup now employs 15 people and has offices in Melbourne and Johannesburg.
A way to track and reduce energy usage
CarbonTRACK provides energy usage insights and allows users to control appliances remotely via a smartphone app. This helps to reduce costs, energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions. CarbonTRACK’s algorithm learns its users' routines and decides the best way to manage energy use.
For example, it can turn the hot water on half an hour before your morning shower and shut if off while you’re out at work.
The aim is to make users more energy conscious and help save money, Gourley says.
“It makes a significant reduction in carbon emissions by reducing power consumption and empowering the people,” he says.
“A lot of people are in the dark on how they use power and why it costs so much. This gives power to the power. It’s about empowerment over how to use the energy and set a budget.”
An increasingly competitive market
There have been a growing number of startups in Australia looking to help users manage their power and reduce carbon emissions including WattCost, WattBlock and PowerTracker.
CarbonTRACK has been shortlisted to pitch at the NRMA Slingshot Jumpstart Scale-up Program and will be taking part in a trade mission to Singapore, which Gourley hopes will assist with an expansion into the Asian market. There are also plans in the works for a trade mission to Brazil in March next year.
“In the future when (the Internet of Things) becomes a bit more mainstream you’ll be able to connect any device to it and control it,” he says.
“CarbonTRACK is a management system you need in your house to divert power from solar into your car’s battery storage or Tesla power wall storage. It can help make all that happen.”
Gourley says he hopes more Australian investors will set their sights on environmentally-conscious startups.
“You can actually have a high growth, successful business that is also delivering a positive environmental outcome,” he says.
“The two aren’t independent from each other. The more focused it is on the social and environmental good the more sustainable that business will be in the long-term.”