Neara Secures USD14M Series B Funding; Expanding Global Focus
Neara is expanding globally, with a strategic focus on the U.S., to help energy providers manage the growing impact of climate change and extreme weather, improve network safety and reliability, and accelerate the integration of clean energy.
SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA
25 May 2022
Neara, a provider of cloud-based digital twin solutions for global utilities, today announced it secured USD14M (AUD20M) in Series B funding led by Skip Capital, and joined by Square Peg Capital (who led Neara’s Series A raise) and OIF. The Australian-based SaaS platform will use this latest funding to expand its global footprint (with a particular focus on further growing its U.S. presence), and broaden its platform functionality, including into new industries. Following its USD5M (AUD7.25M) Series A secured in 2021, Neara’s Series B brings its investment total to USD19M (AUD27.25M) to date.
Neara solves the greatest issues faced by utilities, including an increasingly unstable climate, extreme weather events, and commitments to scale up renewable energy generation. Neara creates digital models of entire infrastructure networks which enable utilities to prepare for and better withstand weather emergencies. It also enables the complex engineering analysis required to optimize existing networks and integrate renewables far more efficiently and effectively.
“The critical infrastructure we all rely on daily for fundamental needs like electricity is under pressure from annual weather emergencies like floods and fires. The utility industry is spending billions physically assessing and maintaining their aging assets, and simultaneously trying to resolve how to integrate renewable assets. Our platform enables a holistic approach to addressing these key challenges while enabling leaps forward in cost reduction, safety, and reliability for our customers and the communities they serve.” said Jack Curtis, Chief Commercial Officer at Neara.
“We have been fortunate to partner with visionary anchor customers, like Essential Energy, who are leading the industry into the digital age. This new funding will accelerate our ability to tackle the same challenges on an international scale,” he added.
Founded in 2016 by ex-Google software engineer Daniel Danilatos, Neara uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to create a dynamic ‘digital twin’ – a virtual model of an infrastructure network. Neara’s software can be used to design or redesign parts of the network, analyze potential risks, and manage physical assets with a sophisticated physics and engineering engine.
Today, Neara works with Australia’s largest utilities, such as Essential Energy, Endeavour Energy, and Ausgrid, and has modeled ~390K total network miles, ~510K total network square miles (larger than the area of California and Texas combined), and ~2.4M total number of assets, covering distribution, sub-transmission, and transmission structures.
Since its Series A funding, Neara has been working with a number of U.S. utilities, helping to pilot a suite of digital solutions. With its Series B, it will accelerate its growth throughout the country to assist more network operators impacted by the ever growing electricity disruptions caused by weather and aging infrastructure. The company plans to double its U.S. staff in the next six months.
“We are delighted to lead this round and really excited about Neara’s global potential,” said Kim Jackson, Head of Skip Capital. “This is our third investment in the company and they continue to impress us with their product, focus and vision. They have already digitally modeled more than half of Australia’s electricity network, helping to transform the way utilities operate their infrastructure and respond to weather crises such as wildfires and floods, which have now become regular events. I am excited about their expansion globally, especially with utilities in the U.S. and Europe.”
James Tynan, Neara’s lead investor at Square Peg Capital, added, “We’re thrilled to be backing Dan and the team at Neara as they leverage the power of software to help utilities transform. It’s obvious to see that solutions like Neara are required to protect communities from the effects of climate change while also helping utilities to design, analyze and manage the changes to their network that are necessary to hit climate targets.”
“Partnering with Neara has allowed us to evolve our digital asset management capability so that we are more agile in our decision-making,” said Luke Jenner, Chief Operating Officer at Essential Energy. “In a changing climate where we’re already seeing the effects of unprecedented natural disasters impacting our customers, our team can now use digital twin modeling to assess scenarios across the network and determine how resilient our network assets are under various environmental conditions and stresses. This allows us to forecast network reliability and balance our customer’s expectations of performance with the required investment to achieve network resilience.”
“Our skilled asset management team uses sophisticated digital twin modeling techniques powered by Neara to identify and prioritize tree management to reduce the risk of bushfires. As momentum on the clean energy transition increases, we are now able to model our network capacity with the aim of identifying the optimum placement for renewables, and minimize network upgrades to accommodate new connections. Essential Energy can apply this capability on an asset-by-asset basis at network-wide scale, rather than relying on a one-size fits all approach, ultimately improving our customer’s experience while minimizing expenditure and risk”, he added.
Neara is a physics-based platform that builds 3D interactive models of critical infrastructure networks and assets, providing the ability to run real-world scenarios, assess current and future risk, and prioritize maintenance and disaster response. Neara is focused on connecting industry knowledge and data with our digital twin technology to solve the complex problems facing infrastructure companies globally. We share our customers’ goals for safety and reliability, and are committed to their success by collaborating with them to realize sustainable value through our transformative solutions. Neara has offices in Australia, North America, and Europe. For more information visit www.neara.com.
About Skip Capital
Skip Capital is the private investment fund of Kim Jackson and Co-CEO of Atlassian, Scott Farquhar. The fund invests across multiple asset classes, with a passion for transformation and technology. Skip Capital backs phenomenal entrepreneurs and teams with unique experience and a passion for solving big problems. Skip Capital provides patient, flexible capital from early to late-stage rounds. Investment sectors include SAAS, ioT, energy, health, future-aware infrastructure, and fintech.
About Square Peg Capital
Square Peg is a global investment firm on a mission to empower exceptional founders. With teams in Singapore, Israel and Australia, Square Peg invests in emerging technology companies across the internet economy. Square Peg has over USD1 billion in assets under management across multiple funds and has invested in category-defining companies including Fiverr, Canva, PropertyGuru and Airwallex. Since 2013, Square Peg has invested over USD200M in Southeast Asia in companies including Pluang, Stashaway, DoctorAnywhere and Neuron Mobility. In 2021, Square Peg expanded into global listed equities, with the launch of the Global Tech Fund. Learn more at https://www.squarepegcap.com.
About Essential Energy
Essential Energy builds, operates and maintains one of Australia’s largest electricity distribution networks, servicing more than 870,000 customers across regional, rural and remote New South Wales and parts of Southern Queensland. Our footprint covers 95 percent of New South Wales and parts of Southern Queensland and traverses 737,000 square kilometres of landmass with 183,612km of power lines, 163,417 of those in designated bushfire zones.
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