Digital twin startup Neara builds $20 million Series B

- May 24, 2022 2 MIN READ
Neara's Karamvir Singh CPO, Dan Danilatos Founder & CEO, Jack Curtis COO
Utilities digital twin tech startup Neara has raised US$14 million (A$20M) in a Series B.

The round was led by Kim Jackson’s Skip Capital, with Series A backer Square Peg Capital opening the wallet again, plus OIF.

It follows a A$7.25 million Series A  in 2021, taking the total capital raised to A$27.25 million.

The SaaS platform will use the cash to expand its global footprint, especially in the US, and broaden its platform functionality, including to new industries. The company plans to double its US staff in the next six months.

Neara solves the greatest issues faced by utilities, including an increasingly unstable climate, extreme weather events, and commitments to scale up renewable energy generation.

Software engineer Daniel Danilatos founded Neara in 2016. It uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to create a dynamic ‘digital twin’ – a virtual model of an infrastructure network. The software can be used to design or redesign parts of the network, analyze potential risks, and manage physical assets with a sophisticated physics and engineering engine.

Those digital models enable utilities to prepare for and better withstand weather emergencies, as well as enabling the complex engineering analysis required to optimize existing networks and integrate renewables far more efficiently and effectively.

Local energy companies such as Essential, Endeavour, and Ausgrid, are customers and since the Series A Neara has been building digital solutions for several US utilities, helping to pilot a suite of digital solutions. With its Series B, it will accelerate its growth throughout the country to assist more network operators impacted by the ever growing electricity disruptions caused by weather and aging infrastructure.

Neara’s chief commercial officer Jack Curtis said critical infrastructure is under pressure from annual weather emergencies such as floods and fires.

“The utility industry is spending billions physically assessing and maintaining their aging assets, and simultaneously trying to resolve how to integrate renewable assets,” he said.

“Our platform enables a holistic approach to addressing these key challenges while enabling leaps forward in cost reduction, safety, and reliability for our customers and the communities they serve. This new funding will accelerate our ability to tackle the same challenges on an international scale.”

Essential Energy’s chief operating officer Luke Jenner said Neara’s solution made them more agile with decision-making.

“In a changing climate where we’re already seeing the effects of unprecedented natural disasters impacting our customers, our team can now use digital twin modeling to assess scenarios across the network and determine how resilient our network assets are under various environmental conditions and stresses,” he said.

“This allows us to forecast network reliability and balance our customer’s expectations of performance with the required investment to achieve network resilience.”

Jenner said the company’s asset management team uses sophisticated digital twin modeling techniques powered by Neara to identify and prioritize tree management to reduce the risk of bushfires.

“As momentum on the clean energy transition increases, we are now able to model our network capacity with the aim of identifying the optimum placement for renewables, and minimize network upgrades to accommodate new connections,” he said.