Energy sector digital twin startup Neara has raised $15.25 million in an extension of last year’s $20 million Series B round.
The round was led by South African VC Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures), a frequent Australian investor, which also backed crypto gaming unicorn Immutable.
Existing backers Square Peg and Kim Jackson’s Skip Capital also chipped in for a third time. Neara, founded by former Google software engineer Daniel Danilatos in 2016, previously raised $7.25 million Series A in 2021, alongside the $20m Series B in May 2022, taking total VC funding to more than $42 million.
The fresh funds for the seven-year-old Sydney software-as-a-service platform will be used to gain further inroads into the US market, where energy company Southern California Edison is a client, as well as European expansion.
Neara 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, analyse potential risks, and manage physical assets to cope with grid stability in the face of natural disasters and the challenges of the shift to renewable energy.
Its local clients include AusGrid, Essential Energy, Endeavour Energy, South Australia Power Networks and Transgrid, who use Neara to optimise their networks across a broad spectrum of critical use cases, as well as for identifying untapped network capacity.
Chief Commercial Officer Jack Curtis said: “This new funding will help us expand and deliver functionality to network operators, generators, regulators and customers in one unified platform, enabling them to bring renewable generation online faster and at a global scale”.