London-based energy flexibility startup Axle Energy has secured $1.6 million in pre-seed financing. The funding round was led by Picus Capital (that backed Nefta and Solarize), with participation from Eka Ventures. Axle Energy specialises in connecting electric vehicles (EVs) and home energy devices to electricity markets. Co-founder Karl Bach emphasised the need for a connected, dynamic, and flexible grid to address climate, cost, and dependency risks associated with fossil fuels.
“The energy crisis has exposed the climate, cost, and dependency risks stemming from our dependence on fossil fuels,” said co-founder Karl Bach. “The time to decarbonise is now, and that requires a connected, dynamic, flexible grid, not the monolith we have today.”
“Karl and Archy bring the experience and vision to build the electricity system we need for the 21st century,” said Sebastian Schäfer, Partner at Picus Capital. “By building a Stripe for energy, Axle is accelerating energy flexibility and decarbonisation, saving households on their bills, and creating long-term value for actors across the energy ecosystem.”
How does Axle tackle challenges?
The electricity system has traditionally relied on adjusting fossil fuel plants to meet real-time supply and demand. However, as renewable sources like wind and solar become more prominent, it’s crucial to find ways to maximise the use of cheap and green energy and minimise consumption during periods of low renewable generation.
Fortunately, EVs and other household energy devices such as heat pumps and batteries possess inherent flexibility. For instance, an average EV remains plugged in for 10 hours daily but only charges for two hours. Unfortunately, connecting these devices to existing electricity markets, primarily designed for fossil fuel plants, presents challenges, resulting in untapped flexibility potential.
This is precisely where Axle’s energy flexibility platform becomes invaluable. Axle was founded earlier this year by Karl Bach and Archy de Berker with energy experience and AI expertise from the likes of Bulb, M-KOPA, CarbonChain, Habitat Energy, Origami Energy, and Element AI.
Connects home energy devices and electricity markets
Axle acts as the intermediary, linking home energy devices to electricity markets as “virtual wires.” Through their software, Axle optimises the combined flexibility of numerous devices, dynamically offering flexibility to the grid and shifting energy usage to the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly periods.
Axle seamlessly integrates with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and energy suppliers, empowering these businesses to reduce their residential customers’ energy bills by more than 25% while simultaneously boosting the grid’s capacity for transitioning towards a renewable future.
Axle’s API enables energy suppliers and hardware manufacturers to monetise the flexibility of home energy devices, lowering costs and emissions while improving grid stability.