BluWave-ai is advancing its line of software products that aim to solve electrical grid congestion caused by the growth of electric vehicle (EV) fleets, aided by a $9.5 million fundraise to grow the company.
The Ottawa-based company was founded in 2017 and offers AI-powered cloud software that predicts, optimizes and controls EV fleets and renewable energy on electric grids.
The Series A funding round was led by PowerON Energy Solutions, a subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation (OPG), which has made a strategic investment and taken a minority stake. It is joined by existing and new private investors led by Capital Angels Network.
PowerON signed a 20-year agreement with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) to “design, build, co-invest, and operate the charging and related electrical infrastructure” as the TTC seeks to decarbonize its bus fleet.
BluWave-ai supported the utility company of Summerside, P.E.I with its software and powered an evening Bryan Adams concert in Summerside entirely with solar energy. With its software solutions, it is also addressing the rise in EV adoption that is placing additional strain on electric grids.
Solving grid-EV congestion
The fundraise, which was completed in Dec. 15, 2022, focuses on the company's two software solutions.
The first is EV Everywhere for utilities dealing with the influx of residential electric vehicles and the resulting electricity grid congestion and upgrade challenges. The second is EV Fleet Orchestrator, which optimizes electric vehicle fleet charging and energy use to reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
EV Everywhere applies an AI-powered software-as-a-service platform to predict energy demand and determine optimal scheduling for electric vehicle charging.
Notable customers for EV Everywhere are Hydro Ottawa and the Independent Electricity System Operator. Along with the Ontario Energy Board, they became the first to utilize EV Everywhere in a project running until 2025.
In a press release, Devashish Paul, CEO and founder of BluWave-ai, said electric vehicles “represent the biggest type of variable storage on the grid side, while representing an asset to absorb fluctuating renewables while decarbonizing road miles.”
Paul told SustainableBiz PowerON needed an electric vehicle fleet orchestrator solution to aid with problems like understanding when to charge the vehicles, when to put them on road and when to return them to a depot.
“It basically predicts how much energy an individual bus will need and then it figures out how much to charge it with, at what rate, inside the depot so it can hit the route with sufficient electricity and energy to cover its driving needs,” Paul said.
The software helps to reduce energy costs and integrates solar generation and battery storage to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.
The $9.5 million funding round
The new funds will go toward commercial scale-out, customer acquisition, increasing the number of staff from 40 to 60, and expanding in existing markets. It provides BluWave-ai over 30 months of runway with cash on hand and contracts to date.
As part of the investment, OPG’s vice-president of new growth & business development James Brewer joins BluWave-ai’s board of directors.
Paul said BluWave-ai's goal is to be the premier AI-based renewable energy and transport electrification company based in Canada. To highlight this goal, Paul pointed to his globetrotting itinerary.
He is prepared to attend a signing ceremony with the CEO of Dubai Taxi, then sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with India’s Tata Delhi for an 8,000 electric bus deployment. Paul then plans to sign an MOU with a client in Europe to provide orchestration to an international last-mile delivery fleet operator that is looking to electrify its European operations.
Seeking Series B funding
Muhammad Zaheed, senior director of finance and operations at BluWave-ai, said the company believes it is the “perfect time” to do a Series B fundraise because it has a “war chest” to go through an anticipated recession, and the company thinks it has "a good game plan to stay in the business when everyone else of our size is gonna be consolidated or taken over, because we have that cash flow.”
The company is targeting a $20- to $30-million Series B fundraise. It has gained traction from investors in New York, California's Bay Area, Austin, Texas and Europe with three to four outreaches per week, according to Zaheed.
He attributed the interest to a significant amount of capital for alternative investments and because there is “huge appetite” for green business.