Power Ledger, Australian Blockchain Energy Trading Startup, has generated $17 Million in it’s Cryptocurrency ‘ICO’
Power Ledger, an Australian startup that is seeking Blockchain technology to create peer-to-peer energy trading applications has raised AU$17 million in just over 3 days of the public token presale in the energy space.
The first sale, or “initial coin offering” (ICO), was launched on Sunday, 27 August, 2017, 2PM Western Australia time (06:00 UTC), sold 100 million Power Ledger POWR tokens in just 72 hours, for a total of $17 million. The trading took place on the Ethereum Blockchain network.
Power Ledger is all set to commence their main sale on 8th September 2017, offering 150 million POWRs, in an uncapped public offer – means final price will be determined by the market demand. Co-founder and managing director of Power Ledger, David Martin, revealed that it is “not unreasonable to expect” that this could raise company’s virtual funding to between $20 million and $30 million. While it may not be $100 million as predicted by the company last month, but still a significant crowdfunding.
The POWRs are tradable on the Ethereum blockchain and can also be exchanged with Sparkz, the cryptocurrency set by Power Ledger for its users to trade electricity. These trades can take place in different ways, depending on their needs – trade self-generated electricity with one another and receive payments in real time. This is the unique solar trading concept, now being rolled out in pilot projects in New Zealand and Australia.
Power Ledger’s blockchain enabled energy trading is unique as it has been supported by some of the real-world energy retailers. It begun with a 15-home trial in Western Australia in autumn 2016, gradually taking up a 500-site project with New Zealand utility Vector in late 2016. In summer 2017, the first commercial deployment started in a residential development in Fremantle, becoming the first company in Australia to “facilitate electricity trading across the meter and manage settlements without going through an electricity retailer.”
After that, Power Ledger made a technology integration agreement with Indra Australia, and also intended to extend its platform to electric-vehicle charging, in partnership with Synergy, a Western Australian energy provider.
For its new cryptocurrency funding – “Token sales will be used to rapidly accelerate the company’s expansion, including entry into India and other emerging markets.”
Colleen Metelitsa, GTM Research analyst, said:
“I personally think Power Ledger has one of the better business models in the energy space since they are actively working with utilities and trying to figure out how they can play in the space under current regulations.”
Amidst all this, the reports of cryptocurrency frauds have surfaced – China recently banned ICOs, and is considering a cryptocurrencies ban on broader scale. Hopefully, Power Ledger’s projects prove out its concept.
She further added, for the ICO:
“I think of it as an unregulated way of raising capital. You can think of these coins/tokens sort of like stocks, but again without all the SEC rules and with a much lower barrier to entry for the layperson, in that you can easily create an account and buy from your computer.”
Greentech Media CEO, Scott Clavenna, also greed that this move is “a novel form of crowdfunding,” and “doesn’t reflect the same level of company maturity that an IPO implies”.
For the uninitiated, blockchain is essentially a peer-to-peer network for trading units of value where every participant has complete transparency about all transactions occurring between parties. Since its first launch, it has evolved from a vague tech concept to a widely accepted technology, attracting real-world money.
Several advancements have been made – last month, Conjoule, a German peer-to-peer energy trading platform, received €3 million ($3.5 million) from Tokyo Electric Power Company and German energy company Innogy SE, as part of a €4.5 million ($5.3 million) Series A funding round.
Several other startups have ventured into the space, including – Drift, Electron and Grid Singularity. In California also, a smart EV charging startup eMotorWerks has launched a pilot blockchain platform to allow EV owners to locate and share each other’s home chargers.
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