Karma Ventures co-leads the 8.5M USD Series-A foundring round of HYDROGRID

15 December 2023

Austrian scale-up, HYDROGRID, announced that they have successfully closed 8.5M USD in Series-A funding to fuel a wave of international expansion. The round was led by new shareholders Inven Capital and Karma Ventures with contributions from existing investors CNB Capital and SET Ventures. The company aims to digitalize the world’s largest source of renewable energy - hydropower.

This funding will enable HYDROGRID to accelerate even further on its rapid growth path over the last years, expand into new markets and enable a successful transition towards a zero-carbon future.

Hydropower is the largest source of renewable energy worldwide. With 60% of all global renewable generation coming from hydro it has the capability to provide reliable baseload energy 365 days per year, giving it a crucial role in terms of security of supply. Globally, it is the largest available source of grid-scale storage and will continue to provide roughly 500 times as much capacity as battery technology even past the year 2035.

“Despite the important role hydropower has to play as a green battery to the grid, hydro is often viewed as the sleeping giant of the energy transition. This is because a significant part of its potential is currently underutilized due to a lack of digitalisation or due to complex regulation. And that’s what we aim to change.” says Janice Goodenough, CEO of HYDROGRID.

Michal Mravec, Investment Director at Inven Capital underscores this: “At Inven Capital, we believe hydro power is vital in the transition towards a zero-carbon economy. HYDROGRID’s ability to proactively manage inflow forecasting, water management and environmental regulation and then combine it with optimal power trading, adds tremendous value to hydro power owners. The real-time, all-in-one solution allows them to increase their revenues by up to 50% and streamline their processes, enabling operators to remain competitive in a fast-paced market and regulatory environment. The positive climate impact from increasing hydro power generation by up to 10% compared to manual operation is also significant. We are excited to support the company on its global growth journey.”

Since its founding in 2016, HYDROGRID has consistently shown strong traction. The company has grown by more than 3X for two consecutive years and continues to make significant impact towards it’s sustainable development goals. The company aims to save more than 50 million tonnes of CO2 by 2033.

But for Tommi Uhari, Partner at Karma Ventures, it is not just the KPI’s of the past that make HYDROGRID a compelling investment case: “I have been following the development of both the product and the company already since 2019. The outstanding level of talent and spirit of the HYDROGRID team is in my opinion the company’s greatest asset. It makes me confident that they will continue to execute against their ambitious growth plans. That’s why we’re excited to invest alongside Inven Capital and to witness the continued support from existing investors CNB and SET Ventures. This gives the company the freedom to realize it’s vision and full potential.”

Founded 2016 in Vienna, HYDROGRID was awarded the national digitalization award in 2019 for its cutting-edge technology and currently supports hydro operators in 7 countries around the world to fully digitalize their process from water to money. The HYDROGRID Insight production planning solution combines powerful machine learning algorithms for inflow and power price forecasting with intelligent optimization across the short-, medium- and long-term horizon for run-of-river, pondage, storage, and cascade hydro-assets – all in one integrated and fully automated software package. This enables hydro power operators to react in real time to weather events, minimize water losses and maximize their power market revenues in a fully automated way while ensuring environmental and operational safety and compliance. The company is dedicated to promoting sustainable practices in hydropower production worldwide and to making hydro a power for the future.

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