The AES Corporation extends its investment in Uplight and its digital and carbon-free future
Investment will speed development of critical software for a cleaner, more resilient and affordable grid for consumers, support Uplight’s organic and M&A-driven growth, and catalyze international expansion
Boulder, Colo. — March 3, 2021 — Uplight, the technology partner of energy providers transitioning to the clean energy ecosystem, announced today that it has agreed to a new investment from a consortium of investors, co-led by Schneider Electric (EURONEXT:SU), the global leader in sustainable energy solutions; AES (NYSE:AES), a global company accelerating the future of sustainable energy; and a group of private equity investors led by Huck Capital that includes Coatue and Inclusive Capital Partners Spring Fund II. Uplight is valued at $1.5 billion in the transaction, which includes the investment of new equity to support significant organic and inorganic growth and adds world-class strategic and financial partners as the energy industry surges forward into transformation. Prior Uplight majority investor Rubicon Technology Partners, who along with AES led the formation of Uplight through the merger of six companies, will also remain a minority investor.
“The grid is experiencing its biggest change in 100 years as it decarbonizes in front of our eyes. The boom in clean hardware — electric vehicles, renewables, batteries, and connected devices — is rapidly changing energy demand and creating new complexity. Uplight is creating the software operating system that connects the dots between customer choice and control and grid resilience and affordability in this transformation,” said Uplight CEO Adrian Tuck. “This investment and these partners help us scale the OS and the ecosystem better and faster, by increasing our scale and operations with energy providers, developing more deeply integrated solutions with other technology and energy solutions providers, both organically and through focused M&A, and catalyzing expansion into international markets.”
Uplight currently serves more than 80 energy providers, representing 110 million energy consumers, with the market’s widest array of sustainable digital solutions. Using data-driven insights to personalize and simplify the customer experience, Uplight solutions help utilities to reduce their baseload by changing consumer behavior, orchestrate grid connected devices that keep customers’ bills low while adjusting in real-time to changing grid conditions, and speed customer adoption of renewables, electric vehicles, and energy management solutions. The company posted an operating profit in 2020 with significant year-over-year ARR growth which continues in 2021. At the same time, Uplight’s solutions delivered through its utility partners saved energy users more than an estimated $390 million on their energy bills while helping homes and businesses become more sustainable.
The investment group of global leaders is well aligned with Uplight, a certified B corp, and its purpose of “creating a sustainable future using business as a force for good.” Huck Capital was formed to focus on transformational investments that bring together sustainability and growth in the energy sector. Coatue is an approximately $35 billion global technology fund that has invested over $5 billion in cleantech companies like SunRun, Tesla and Rivian. Inclusive Capital Partners, a global investment firm, partners with its investment companies to speed their environmental and social impact. Schneider Electric was recently named the world’s most sustainable corporation by research firm Corporate Knights and is the global leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, with distributed energy solutions for both commercial and utility scale. As a global leader in renewables and energy storage, AES partners with its customers to help them achieve their sustainable energy goals with a focus on offering innovative and integrated solutions while maintaining reliability.
Andres Gluski, AES President and Chief Executive Officer: “Uplight shares AES’ commitment to accelerate a smarter, greener energy future. Digital technologies engage customers in new ways for the more efficient use of energy. These tools improve customer satisfaction while reducing the carbon footprint of utility companies. We are continuing to invest in Uplight based on their proven track record and the great benefits these solutions bring for our customers and society.”
Steve McBee, CEO, Huck Capital: “Uplight sits at the center of two energy megatrends: the pivot to a zero-carbon economy and applying SaaS and data to connect and orchestrate behind-the-meter energy solutions. Software is the fuel driving the energy transition and Uplight is ideally positioned to win. We’re excited to work with the management team and the new investment partners to rapidly scale the business.”
Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and CEO, Schneider Electric: “Uplight’s software will enhance Schneider Electric’s existing EcoStruxure Grid offering and has further potential to play a key enabling role between Smart Grid, Smart Home and Smart Building. We look forward to investing alongside AES and the other financial investors, who all share our vision of a more digital and more electric world, leading to a sustainable future.”
Uplight delivers a unique and critical scale in the rapidly growing sustainable technology market by acting as the connective layer to create cohesive customer experiences at every step of the customer energy journey. Nomura Greentech Capital estimates the total potential market for sustainable energy technologies and related products at more than $900 billion globally, across thousands of products and solutions connected to energy consumers and the energy grid.
“Every energy solution provider participating in the new energy ecosystem is going to be better off partnering with us to connect their solutions to others and improve their value to customers. Uplight is making it easier and faster to deliver outcomes at scale and hit carbon reduction goals,” said Mr. Tuck.
The transaction is expected to close following the receipt of customary regulatory approvals. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC served as Exclusive Advisor to Uplight; Nomura Greentech served as Advisor to the Investors.
Uplight is the technology partner for energy providers and the clean energy ecosystem. Uplight’s software solutions connect energy customers to the decarbonization goals of power providers while helping customers save energy and lower costs, creating a more sustainable future for all. Using the industry’s only comprehensive customer-centric technology suite and critical energy expertise across disciplines, Uplight is streamlining the complex transition to the clean energy ecosystem for more than 80 electric and gas utilities around the world. By empowering energy providers to achieve critical outcomes through data-driven customer experiences, delivering control at the grid edge, creating new revenue streams and optimizing existing load and assets, Uplight shares a mission with its clients to make energy more sustainable for every community. Uplight is a certified B Corporation. To learn more, visit us at www.uplight.com, find us on Twitter @Uplight or on LinkedIn at Linkedin.com/company/uplightenergy.
The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) is a Fortune 500 global energy company accelerating the future of energy. Together with our many stakeholders, we’re improving lives by delivering the greener, smarter energy solutions the world needs. Our diverse workforce is committed to continuous innovation and operational excellence, while partnering with our customers on their strategic energy transitions and continuing to meet their energy needs today. For more information, visit www.aes.com.
About Huck Capital
Huck Capital makes investments in a new generation of clean, customer facing energy companies that sustainably power the world’s energy needs.
We are a team of former operators, investors and entrepreneurs who have deep industry experience transforming energy companies into more efficient and sustainable businesses. We believe that a net zero emissions future is possible through bold action to build resilient clean energy companies. www.huckcapital.com
About Schneider Electric
Schneider’s purpose is to empower all to make the most of our energy and resources, bridging progress and sustainability for all. We call this Life Is On. Our mission is to be your digital partner for Sustainability and Efficiency. We drive digital transformation by integrating world-leading process and energy technologies, end-point to cloud connecting products, controls, software and services, across the entire lifecycle, enabling integrated company management, for homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure and industries. We are the most local of global companies. We are advocates of open standards and partnership ecosystems that are passionate about our shared Meaningful Purpose, Inclusive and Empowered values. www.se.com