Unicorn Uplight Emerges. Will It Disrupt Electric Power Management?

Uplight Inc.‘s value rose to $1.5 Billion in a deal adding new investors Schneider Electric and a Huck Capital-Led Investment Group, while The AES Corporation extended its investment. 

Steve McBee, CEO, Huck Capital said: “Uplight sits at the center of two energy megatrends: the pivot to a zero-carbon economy and applying SaaS and data to connect and orchestrate behind-the-meter energy solutions. Software is the fuel driving the energy transition and Uplight is ideally positioned to win. We’re excited to work with the management team and the new investment partners to rapidly scale the business.”

Uplight’s formation from multiple mergers was orchestrated by Rubicon Technology Partners and AES. Simple Energy and Tendril were merged in July 2019 to form Uplight. Other merger partners include GroundedPower, Inc., EnergySavvy, Inc., FirstFuel Software, Inc., and EEMe, LLC.

This aggregation of companies has not created a superportfolio of patents for electric power grid demand response for Uplight.  It may be in the dark for IP assets and should watch out for competitors with a bigger patent footprint.  Demand response technology has seen its share of litigation, including NEST and Honeywell, whose patent fights ended in a cross-license.  Uplight has little to offer for settlement, except its cash. 

Uplight is working with 75 utility companies and posted an operating profit in 2020 with significant year-over-year ARR growth. Customers include Duke Energy, National Grid, Exelon, Southern Company, Xcel Energy, American Electric Power, Arizona Public Service, Consumers Energy, Public Service Enterprise Group and AES.

Check out Uplight’s portfolio in the Demand Response Patent Forecast®.