New investors ETF Partners and Astelia led this latest funding round, with backing from Rockstart and other existing investors.
Rockstart, the early-stage investor backing purpose-driven founders in the energy, agrifood and tech sectors, has increased its capital commitments to Amsterdam-based Dexter Energy alongside existing investors Newion and PDENH, as well as new investors ETF Partners and Astelia who led the funding round.
Rockstart, which has invested in the company through the €27m Rockstart Energy Fund, said that Dexter Energy had been part of its accelerator programme in 2018 and that it had also invested in the company through an earlier funding round.
Dexter Energy develops AI power generation forecasting and trade optimisation solutions for the renewable energy sector. Its product offerings leverage advanced machine learning algorithms and big data analytics to enable renewable energy companies in Europe to better manage their short-term trading activities in the transition to 100% renewable energy.
Speaking to Impact Investor, Max ter Horst, managing partner for energy at Rockstart, said: “We invested in Dexter Energy as their AI-based software platform will play a crucial role in reducing system imbalances by providing best-in-class renewable generation forecasts and optimizing energy trading decisions.”
Dexter Energy beat its fundraising target of between €8m-€10m, bringing the total fundraising since the company’s launch to around €15m. Its customers include energy companies Axpo, Greenchoice, GigaStorage, NieuweStroom, Scholt Energy, and Pure Energie, among others.
Speaking to Impact Investor Luuk Vekeen, CEO and co-founder of Dexter Energy, said interest in the company had exceeded their expectations: “[This] puts us in a very fortunate position in the current global slowdown in tech investments.”
He said the company intended to use the investment to “fast-track its product roadmap and assemble its services into a complete self-serve cockpit”, which would allow its customers to further balance their renewables portfolio.
Dexter Energy, which operates in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, also plans to expand into new European markets, including Italy and the UK, and double the size of its team by the end of the year.
Energy balancing costs of wind and solar
Dexter Energy explained that the transition to renewable energy sources had caused drastic changes in electricity markets. Where previously, a select number of fossil fuel plants provided electricity on-demand, the intermittent nature of renewable energy from solar and wind had disrupted the way energy companies traded and balanced their power supply.
According to the company, energy companies that trade and balance wind and solar energy, had seen their balancing costs rise by 60% to €20bn in 2022 alone. These costs are expected to skyrocket further as the percentage of wind and solar electricity supply in Europe increased from 22% of market share in 2022 to a forecasted 65% in 2030.
“[Our] products provide clients with input so that they can make better-informed decisions and optimise their power trading strategies,” said Veeken, who said that the cost-savings achieved would be determined on a case-by-case basis.
“It is also influenced by the quality of data we get from our clients which we feed into our machine learning algorithms. But, with the right conditions, we have seen that we can achieve up to 35% of cost savings,” he added.
Veeken said that for a smooth transition to renewable energy and to achieve Europe’s targets more investment was needed. “We require more investments in modernising grids and adding grid interconnections – both AC as DC – between countries. Additionally, we will need to harmonise legislation enabling more investments in storage and demand response.”