Why We Invested in Omnidian: To Accelerate and Ensure the Performance of Energy Assets
By Brian Walsh, Head of Wind Ventures
The energy landscape is changing quickly. The reality of climate change is sinking in and the urgency to decarbonize on a global scale is escalating daily. We are seeing a shifting narrative from governments, corporates, and from a grassroots perspective, calling for more investment into new renewable generation, and the immediate advancement of products and solutions to create a CO₂-free global economy.
But solving the climate crisis needs to go beyond installing or launching more renewable generation, energy storage, energy efficiency solutions, EVs and EV Charging networks, etc. It requires that these solutions give customers the confidence that they can deliver as promised after installation.
The history of solar in particular teaches us an important lesson in this regard. During the past decade, most residential and commercial and industrial (C&I) projects did not perform as expected, a problem that has especially plagued more conservative, risk-averse customers who are vital to the sector’s growth.
The most critical way for the sector to continue scaling with risk-averse customers and investors is to manage performance and ROI post-install. It is also a way for developers to differentiate themselves in an increasingly commoditized sector. This will undoubtedly play out in all other cleantech energy solutions, including EV charging, energy storage, etc.
The solution is, of course, clear: high-level post-installation care that effectively manages much of the operations and management (O&M) of a project in a low-cost way. This, however, is technically very difficult to do well as it requires: 1) a scalable, robust digital platform; 2) mature machine learning algorithms trained with tons of data that can identify not only the obvious but predict the un-obvious even when multiple issues occur simultaneously, and 3) an extremely low-cost delivery model that also enables excellent customer experience.
While difficult, this is exactly what the Omnidian team has accomplished for residential and C&I solar today. By our measure, they are far beyond the rest having not only a robust digital platform, trained machine learning algorithms, and a low-cost, high customer experience model, but they actually guarantee the energy production of the solar project. In effect, they offer an insurance product to transform a solar asset into an annuity with a highly predictable ROI.
This is what will be key to continuing the growth of solar and it’s a good indication of what will also be needed in other cleantech spaces.
WIND Ventures will be supporting the company’s global expansion as Omnidian sets its sights on new geographies, including Latin America.
About Brian Walsh
Brian Walsh leads WIND Ventures in San Francisco — the strategic venture capital group for Copec, which is a leading energy and retail corporation throughout Latin America and the United States. Brian has two decades of venture capital experience in the San Francisco Bay Area, both in private and strategic venture capital. Most recently, Brian was an Associate Partner and Senior Expert at McKinsey&Company where he led the Firm’s corporate venturing advisory efforts with global Fortune 500 CEO clients. Brian holds an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a BS in Physics from Tufts University.
About WIND Ventures
Based in San Francisco, WIND Ventures is the corporate venture capital (CVC) arm of Copec, one of the leading energy companies in Central and South America and one of the most valued brands throughout Latin America. WIND Ventures leverages Copec’s significant resources to accelerate growth, primarily within Latin America, for startups and scaleups across the world within the new mobility, energy and retail sectors. Visit windventures.vc or follow us on Linkedin and Twitter.
SOURCE: WIND Ventures Blog