SmartHelio raises $5 Million and closes financing round


Overcoming the barriers to a fast energy transition

As the world continues to grapple with the challenges posed by climate change and the need to transition to a more sustainable energy system, major obstacles that prevent it from happening remain. SmartHelio, a Swiss-based software company, just raised $5 million to scale its software that measures the live data from solar plants (voltage, tension, temperature) to predict failures, enable proactive maintenance, and make climate-resilient assets using its proprietary climate dynamics-based forecasting tool.

Assets are bleeding money – unknown underperformance and climate impact  

SmartHelio will use the extra funding of $5 million to scale its revolutionary software that not only helps solar companies detect and identify faults quickly, enabling them to gain a significant performance boost by 5%, but also make assets climate resilient thanks to its proprietary climate assessment forecasting tool. Their mission: automates asset management to build more clean energy infrastructures faster in Europe, Asia, and the United States, where the company has recently started its operations and whose funding will help to expand faster.


“Every summer, my parents would bring my brother and me to our ancestral village in India, which didn’t have electricity. The lack of good governance meant that it took a long time for the village to get electricity. This is what sparked my interest in decentralized energy solutions that don’t require external intervention,”                                               Govinda Upadhyay, CEO at SmartHelio.

Govinda, an energy expert and climate Ph.D. student from EPFL, was listed on Forbes 30 under 30 for his work in energy. He co-founded the start-up with Neeraj Dasila, who used to work in the Indian government’s energy department.


10 years of Swiss R&D: predict and prescribe to manage assets with peace of mind  

SmartHelio is a GHI and wind forecasting tool that uses climate dynamics and urbanization factors to predict resource availability and assess climate risk for sustainable energy infrastructure development. It has a high accuracy of 98.5% on tested locations in Europe and India. “We ran our climate risk assessment system on a PV asset in Europe and we detected that due to higher irradiation forecasted, our clients could actually gain $7.5 Million Per Year for a 500 MWp Plant with a more appropriate design” – the CEO explained. 


The predictive analytics company automatically detects potential component failures such as inverter failures, string disconnection, and root causes of underperformance (tracker issues, early degradation, etc) to accordingly provide proactive maintenance recommendations to users through its platform, Autopilot. Its clients include major industry leaders: Acciona (Spain), Schneider (France and Spain), EDP (USA and Portugal), ESB (Ireland), Verbund (Austria), or Adani (India). 


Data security and integration at the core of the revolution

“We understood that the challenge of the industry was not only to provide speed in fault detection but also to provide security and resilience to our clients’ infrastructures and data”. Upadhyay said. As a result, the focus put by the company has been on offering a platform that can easily be integrated into any infrastructure, which allows their clients to not only empower the existing – instead of replacing it – but also to ensure their data protection by keeping everything in-house. The efforts of the company and its 25-persons team have resulted in 5% potential additional energy generation based on its forecasting and prediction-based software.  

The company is wading into a rapidly developing industry, but it has remarkably few direct competitors and the thrust of software/AI companies seems mostly focused on where to install solar or make solar more accessible. Glint Solar, for example, raised $3 million earlier this year for its AI-powered analytics tool to figure out where to build solar plants. Aurora Solar is in a similar space and closed a $250 million round in mid-2021. On the installation front, recent funding rounds include Enact Systems’ $11 million Series A, Zolar’s $105 million Series C, and Project Solar’s $23 million haul. 

Leverage API intelligence to unlock the potential of the clean energy industry   

In a more distant future, the company envisions being more deeply integrated into the solar energy stack with an “energy intelligence API.” This is purported to have broader appeal among a variety of target customers, including solar performance personnel, solar operation and maintenance companies, equipment manufacturers, investors, bidding managers, EPCs, and on-site solar farms. Today, the company can and is already integrated with API-enabled platforms such as SolarLog, MeteoControl, or even inverters like SMA, and Huawei to leverage data intelligence.


“We will continue to focus on industrial-scale solutions, as this is where we believe we can have the biggest impact in terms of carbon savings. We want to become the ‘brain’ of the clean energy industry, providing industry-standard analytics to support the adoption of clean energy solutions,” Upadhyay said. 

The renewables growth is expected to happen fast and exponentially, according to the latest IEA report and SmartHelio is ready to ensure the resilience and profitability of any assets, existing or yet to be built.       


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