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Comwatt: smart energy

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“There is an overproduction of energy in Europe and, consequently, a lot of costly energy waste. We want to correct this and establish a more cohesive and efficient energy system,” says Grégory Lamotte, founder of Comwatt, a company that specialises in smart energy, based in Montpellier. Comwatt – a play on words referring to the ‘watt community’ – is proposing a smart way of running your electrical appliances to maximise the use of renewable energy and minimise costs and waste.

“Using technology, we can monitor your most energy-consuming electrical devices and turn them on and off according to your level of production of photovoltaic energy,” says Grégory, perfectly illustrating what is known as the Internet of Things (IoT).

The whole system works through interconnected electronic devices that are programmed to share and exchange data about their energy behaviour. “The data shows the times when devices are used and the amount of energy that they require, which allows us to programme them to use electricity efficiently, when it’s cheaper,” explains Grégory. “For example, we can turn your freezer down to the minimum temperature during the day, using cheap solar energy, and turn it off at night. The temperature might rise marginally at night, but it will still be cold enough to maintain all the food in a healthy state until the next morning,” he adds. Same with hot water: We can heat it up using clean solar energy and then rely on storage to keep it hot for those four hours when you need it. It may surprise you, but we can actually do this with almost 80% of a household’s energy consumption. Ultimately, we can reduce the electricity bill by 50-70%,” says Grégory.

Since its creation, in 2013, Comwatt has gone from strength to strength. However, developing a product like this requires a lot of up-front investment in research and development. “The cloud and big data analytics offer many possibilities, but you have to learn how to make the most out of them and how to turn these ideas into a reality. This requires a good source of financing,” Grégory adds.

With a significant equity investment from Soridec, a venture capital firm backed by the EIF, the start-up managed to further develop its product and prepare it for the market. “Soridec has a lot of experience in innovative start-ups and have been key in the development of our business. We hope that with this partnership, we can further expand our business,” he says, “We don’t want to be the pioneering innovative start-up that never took off. We now have 9000 clients across France but our product is already scaleable up to 1 million clients. The future is digital. There’s no doubt about that. The way we treat so many things will also turn digital. There’s no room in the future for dinosaurs who don’t embrace the digital revolution…”

Company: Comwatt
Type of business: Energy
EIF Financing: FOSTER
Financial intermediary: IRDI-Soridec


For further information about EIF intermediaries in France, please refer to:
http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/fr

 

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