HOUSTON – Branch Energy – a tech-powered, green energy provider focused on helping consumers reduce their energy bills and carbon footprints – has raised $4.5 million in its seed round. This round of financing was led by Comcast Ventures with participation from Global Founders Capital, Inovia Capital, and Assaf Wand – CEO of home insurance unicorn Hippo.
Branch Energy was co-founded by Alex Ince-Cushman, ex-Palantir and former nuclear fusion researcher; Daniel MacDonald, a serial B2C entrepreneur; and Todd Burgess, an energy industry veteran. The trio will use the funds to expand the team, and support the data and analytic infrastructure development at the heart of the company’s approach.
Electricity production is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and accounts for 25% of US emissions. Transitioning the electricity grid to green energy is therefore critical to reducing the effects of climate change. Recent catastrophes like the black outs in Texas and the fires in California highlight that the current energy system is struggling to cope with climate-related change. Branch Energy is setting out to help by showing consumers that green energy can actually save them money, time and hassle — and by providing a dramatically better customer experience than incumbent energy providers.
“Climate change is a staggeringly large challenge and we’re building Branch Energy, from the ground up to be part of the solution. In particular, we think we can have the biggest impact by focusing on opportunities that reduce our customer’s energy bills and also help decarbonize society. Fortunately, this intersection is actually much, much larger than most people appreciate,” says Alex Ince-Cushman, Branch Energy’s CEO and cofounder.
Branch Energy will initially launch in the US in states with deregulated energy markets (where consumers are able to choose their energy provider). In these markets, Branch Energy will offer customers 100% green energy, be their interface for billing, payment and customer service while also helping them install and finance smart energy devices. Branch Energy is aiming to sign up its first customers in Texas this fall.
Despite the considerable energy-saving benefits of modern devices such as smart thermostats, smart water heaters, solar arrays, etc, the installation rate for these devices remains persistently low in the US. These low deployment rates are in large part due to the hurdles the average residential customer faces in getting devices installed. “Most people don’t wake up on a Sunday morning to do complex economic calculations on the payback period of a smart water heater, then go buy the device with cash, then coordinate with a plumber to install it, to eventually get savings in the future. It’s just too much friction for most people,” says Daniel MacDonald, cofounder and Branch Energy President.
In addition to delivering 100% green energy to its customers at a great price, Branch Energy will help customers save even more by doing the heavy lifting of device installation. By combining energy usage data, satellite imagery, hyper-local weather forecasts, AI and more, Branch Energy will calculate the economic benefit of each of these devices for each customer, and then coordinate financing and installations. The combination of energy saving smart devices and delivering 100% green power will make Branch Energy a compelling option for customers both financially and environmentally.
About Branch Energy
Branch Energy is a technology company that makes it easy for consumers to lower their energy bills and carbon footprint while providing dramatically better customer experiences than incumbents. Branch Energy uses data & AI to determine which smart devices reduce a consumer’s energy bill the most and then helps them finance and install those devices – saving customers money while they clean up their energy usage.