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Romanian startup Ogre AI raises €2M to put AI in service of energy management

Matei Stratan
Image credit: Founder and CEO Matei Stratan
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•Romanian startup Ogre AI, the B2B automated and AI-based platform designed for energy management, announced raising a €2M seed round.

Lead investor Early Game Ventures, as well as UK-based MMC Ventures, and international angel investors jumped on board at the opportunity to invest in the energy transition.

•The next steps for Ogre AI include finishing the development of an innovative price forecast system and scaling the business globally. 

Launched in 2021, Ogre AI is building products using data science and artificial intelligence to shape a more sustainable future for the energy industry. The solutions are aimed to help businesses digitalize operations, forecast, and plan effectively, in order to reach better decisions.

Investors believer Ogre AI will contribute to building the critical data infrastructure needed to sail smoothly through the green transition, due to the company’s solid technology and scalability, says Radu Stoicoviciu, Partner at EGV.

“To reach the global climate goals, the world will need to significantly accelerate investment in the energy transition. We are thrilled to back an incredibly talented team building the next generation forecasting products needed to manage the increasingly volatile global energy markets. Ogre AI’s technology enables unparalleled risk management and operational efficiencies, releasing much needed capital for further investments in clean energy,” added Andrei Dvornic, Principal, MMC Ventures.

The Recursive furthered talked to founder and CEO Matei Stratan about the company’s solutions and future plans.

The Recursive: What inspired the Ogre AI solution?

Matei Stratan: Ogre was born out of passion for problem solving and dedication to our partners, in an effort to help them reduce balancing costs and improve operational efficiency.

As the power and utilities industry is undergoing a fundamental transformation and is already migrating to intelligent solutions that optimize the whole of the business chain (generation, transportation, distribution and supply), the emergence of new technologies and solutions such as electricity storage, prosumers integration, e-mobility, demand response and big data emerging from the digital transformation of the power and utilities sector have opened the opportunity to capitalize on the artificial intelligence and machine learning skills that have been our concern at group level for some time.

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Alongside the clear market signals, the energy prices volatility, as well as the complexity of regulatory driven market transformations are now encouraging energy market operators to build sophisticated energy management tools.

What can you tell us about your market, any research you can share?

At Ogre we are targeting a global market. In the context of the CO2 emissions footprint reductions, the RES development scene is growing with 25 GW per year, in the EU alone. At the same time, the electrification and decentralization of the markets are giving birth to more and more energy supply and distribution companies, companies which are faced with an increasingly competitive environment and a necessity to optimize every process. As we head to 2050 and as the total population will increase by around 2bn, the demand for electricity will increase exponentially and so does the need for accurate and sophisticated management tools.

Based on our current business model and technical roadmap, we target a total serviceable available market of 1 bn EUR by the end of 2025.

What challenge do you aim to solve on the market?

The most important aspect is the predictability with maximum accuracy of the required energy quantities and prices evolutions.

The expected effect of success would be the decrease of energy costs through minimized balancing market costs, more complex hedging mechanisms and tools as well as the development of an integrated energy management platform enjoying business intelligence signals and models.

What have been the development phases so far?

The first stages of our development involved creating reliable and performant machine learning and artificial intelligence models for the industry. We have spent a considerable amount of time on research and used our first year to develop very advanced forecasting engines for predicting renewables generation, consumption, technical and commercial grid losses and anomalies detection. After developing our forecast systems, we took on some pilot projects to test our solutions and fine tune the models. We have also participated in some successful benchmarking processes to see how well we were doing against our competitors.

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At this point in time, we have already won a few public tenders to implement complex forecasting solutions, for some of the biggest utilities companies in the world.

Why launch a new funding round now, and what are your development goals in the next 2-3 years?

As the energy transition process is accelerating and companies are now racing for digitalization and insights, time to market is of essence for any analytics solution provider, especially in such a competitive landscape. As such, we decided to speed up our product development activities, while not making any compromise on the quality of our team, to both have the required experts to innovate our products and implement the highly customized existing solutions for new clients.

Our plans for the immediate future are to scale our products regionally and globally. We are in the process of developing our own weather models and a solid price forecast solution that will serve as a basis for the business intelligence services – that we want to offer starting from 2023. At the same time, we are finalizing the development of our proprietary platform UI which will be used in implementations for small and medium sized clients.

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>>>And for more applications of AI in various industries, check out this map of AI startups in Romania.<<<

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Antoanela is a Sustainability Communications Specialist and Deputy Editor at The Recursive media. From these roles, she is helping organizations communicate their latest sustainability goals, strategies, and technologies. She writes about climate tech, ESG, impact investment, sustainability regulation, and related topics.