Let’s play the energy savings game with Greenely
March 31, 2016
Back in 2013, three students from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, the renowned Swedish university, decided to embark on a start-up venture.
Just two years later, their start-up was recognized by the Forbes 30 under 30 list of top young entrepreneurs and their concept will be embedded in the smartphones of 200,000 Swedes! Tanmoy Bari, CEO and cofounder of Greenely, explains the concept.
Can you briefly explain what your service is about?
It is a digital platform combined with a mobile app that provides for display and analysis of the energy behaviours of households based on data transmitted directly by smart meters. By adding up many other data (e.g. household composition or weather conditions), the application helps consumers to better understand their energy consumption without losing any comfort. On the energy supplier’s side, it is an efficient tool to limit the churn rate, to retain and segment their clientele, and ultimately to offer more relevant services adapted to each type of customer.
How is your platform different from many other similar projects?
Several competitors are indeed active in this market. But the service we offer is definitely more comprehensive and most of all more efficient, basically because our staff combines several types of expertise required to satisfy both sides (the supplier and the customer). First of all, our algorithm development skills enable us to analyse data from the smart meters without the need to add any other sensor (even from monthly billing data, if nothing else). The platform involves in particular some complex mathematical tools for data disaggregation that we are working to develop jointly with academic mathematics researchers. Then, our sociological approach, focused in particular on social standards and behavioural science, has enabled us to design an application that is really usable and used by the residents (a major problem generally encountered by our competitors). Among other, we have “gamified” the user experience involving the creation and care of a virtual tree whose growth will depend on the user’s virtuous behaviour, comparisons with their neighbours or inhabitants with similar profiles, and connection to social networks… Last but not least, our knowledge of the world of energy is evident in the advice on energy savings delivered automatically by the application.
What progress have you made in your commercial development?
We have largely gone beyond the stage of pilot trials or demonstrators to enter the actual operational roll-out phase. In Sweden, our first key client is SBAB, a bank specialised in mortgage loans, who will be offering the Greenely app this year to 200,000 of their clients: the main goal is to bolster their customer relations. We think that we can quickly reach average savings of 10% on the energy bill of households using our application. In 2016, we will also start our international expansion as we are already receiving requests from elsewhere in Europe (Finland, Netherlands) and even from the US!
What are the key factors of your success?
Right timing, a truly innovative technology that is easy to use and user-oriented. But also great support to our ecosystem, starting with KTH and KIC InnoEnergy who provide financing and most of all invaluable operational assistance.
Greenely in brief:
Headcount: 7 (and growing)
Revenue forecast in 2016: €800,000
Funding: €800,000 (KTH Holding, KIC Innoenergy, VCs…),
Eye of the expert
Fredrik Billing, Chairman of the Investment Committee for the Business Angel company « Sustainable Energy Angels AB », Business Coach for KIC InnoEnergy
“We are firm believers in the success of Greenely. First of all because the product is attractive to consumers for its ease of use, and also because its hardware-less technology is opening up the market to clients other than energy suppliers. Their app-based service is a very scalable business model. And last but not least, because of its top-level staff who combines technological expertise with business savvy. They are fearless in their approach to the market, which has enabled them to outperform their targets.”
 Churn rate: proportion of customers lost (for the company or one of its departments) in a given reference period (month, year…).