National Grid venture firm seeding funds into AI energy startups Aperio & AiDash

Illustration courtesy AiDash

The investment arm of global utility firm National Grid will stake $6 million into data analytics startups which use artificial intelligence (AI) to protect critical infrastructure such as power systems.

National Grid Partners led two funding rounds which invest in two new portfolio companies. Boston-based Aperio Systems uses AI and machine learning to analyze industrial sensor data in real time, while AiDash out of Silicon Valley uses high-res satellite imagery coupled with AI to help utility and energy customers transform operations.

“National Grid’s ambition is to become the most intelligent transmission network in the world,” said Lisa Lambert, the company’s Chief Technology and Innovation Officer and the founder and president of National Grid Partners. “We are investing in and deploying technologies across our networks to enhance resilience and reliability, while more easily integrating clean energy.”

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The applications for both companies’ technologies include energy, mining, manufacturing, vegetation management, remote monitoring and disaster management.

Aperio was started in 2016. Some of its collaborative partners include OSIsoft (acquired by AVEVA earlier this year), Efacec, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services and Aspentech.

AiDash is led by CEO Abhishek Vinod Singh, who co-founded the company. He was formerly the COO and head of digital transformation at KelltonTech.

National Grid Partners previously has poured investment into other AI and utility infrastructure startups such as SparkCognition, CNIGuard and Uniphone.

AIDash’s Director of Sales Bradley Smith will be speaking in November’s DISTRIBUTECH Plus event in a session called “How New Technology Can Improve Utility Vegetation Management.” Learn more about it by clicking the title and register (it’s free) for details and to attend.

AI and digital transformation will be the heart of December’s POWERGEN+ series. Registration is free. November will be focused on zero-carbon sectors nuclear and hydrogen as well as low-carbon on-site power.

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