SmartSynch Inc., a Jackson, Miss.-based provider of public wireless smart metering technology, has raised $20 million in Series E funding. Credit Suisse led the round, and was joined by Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co. Return backers included Battelle Ventures, Beacon Group, Endeavor Capital Management, GulfSouth Capital, Innovation Valley Partners, Kinetic Ventures, OPG Ventures and Siemens Venture Capital. The company has now raised $80 million in total VC funding since 2000.
SmartSynch, a global leader in public wireless smart metering technology, announced today that it has raised $20 million dollars in expansion financing. New investor Credit Suisse, a leading international financial institution based in New York, invested in the financing through its Customized Fund Investment Group. This round also provided an opportunity for a new investor, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, to participate in SmartSynch‘s success, along with a host of existing investors, such as: Battelle Ventures, Beacon Group, Endeavor Capital Management, GulfSouth Capital, Innovation Valley Partners, Kinetic Ventures, OPG Ventures and Siemens Venture Capital. To date, SmartSynch has raised a total of $80 million since its inception in 2000. It will use this latest round to fund working capital growth, expand market presence and accelerate the product roadmap for new Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and Smart Grid Intelligence solutions.
“Utilities are deploying smart meter technology at a rapid rate to avoid the difficulty of building and permitting new power plants, to prepare for impending carbon regulation and more importantly because managing electricity use at a granular level opens up new business opportunities with customers,“ said Nadim Barakat, a Managing Director in Credit Suisse‘s Customized Fund Investment Group. “We chose SmartSynch because of its deep customer base, innovative technology and compelling value proposition for utilities looking to gain the highest possible return on investment in smart meter systems.“
SmartSynch’s SmartMeters� measure how much and when electricity is consumed, dramatically improving utilities‘ ability to understand customer electricity usage. In turn utilities can partner with their largest customers in new ways such as mapping usage trends to optimize building energy consumption or to uncover energy leaks. Commercial and industrial customers, which represent the majority of electricity use and revenue for utilities, can use these data to tailor daily energy consumption and reduce their monthly electricity bill � capturing tax incentives and reducing their carbon footprints.
SmartSynch also helps utilities reduce their own carbon footprints by eliminating the need to construct, support and service proprietary data networks that typically carry a 15- to 20-year life span. Existing public wireless networks like GPRS, EVDO, and WiFi and emerging networks like WiMax and 700 MHz enable utilities to rapidly deploy technologies to support smart metering and demand response programs with customers that can realize the greatest benefits first. Every SmartSynch SmartMeter, like any Internet-connected device, has its own IP address providing an architecture which can endure and flex as customer energy and data needs grow over time.
“We are at the beginning of an unprecedented investment cycle by the utility industry that will result in the widespread adoption of smart metering, demand response and smart grid intelligence solutions,“ said Stephen Johnston, CEO of SmartSynch. “Credit Suisse Customized Fund Investment Group and Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, along with our existing investors, are providing important growth capital that will accelerate our expansion plans to best capitalize on these opportunities.“
SmartSynch solutions are fully certified to securely and reliably deliver critical AMI data on public wireless networks, including AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile, and Rogers Wireless (Canada). The company has successfully deployed AMI solutions utilizing these networks for more than 75 major North American utilities.
Headquartered in Jackson, Miss., SmartSynch has been developing successful Smart Grid Intelligence solutions for the utility industry since 2000. The company‘s clean-tech innovations in the two-way delivery of real-time energy usage data over public wireless networks, in lieu of private network build-outs, have to-date simplified SmartMeter deployments for 75+ major North American utilities, while enabling green-energy initiatives and delivering significantly higher Returns on Resources.
Unlike proprietary, closed-architecture solutions, SmartSynch‘s SmartMeters represent future-proof investments in technology. The standards-based IP connectivity enabled in every SmartMeter deployed makes them adaptable and remotely upgradeable to support today‘s sensor and communications needs, as well as tomorrow‘s opportunities, better than any alternative.
For more information, contact SmartSynch Media Relations at 601-209-1315, or visit www.smartsynch.com.
About Credit Suisse
As one of the world’s leading banks, Credit Suisse provides its clients with private banking, investment banking and asset management services worldwide. Credit Suisse offers advisory services, comprehensive solutions and innovative products to companies, institutional clients and high-net-worth private clients globally, as well as retail clients in Switzerland. Credit Suisse is active in over 50 countries and employs approximately 49,000 people. Credit Suisse’s parent company, Credit Suisse Group, is a leading global financial services company headquartered in Zurich. Credit Suisse Group’s registered shares (CSGN) are listed in Switzerland and, in the form of American Depositary Shares (CS), in New York. Further information about Credit Suisse can be found at www.credit-suisse.com.
About Customized Fund Investment Group
The Customized Fund Investment Group (CFIG) at Credit Suisse is one of the largest and deepest investment teams dedicated to private equity fund investing. The Group is co-headed by Michael Arpey and Kelly Williams, who founded CFIG in 1999. CFIG manages over $20 billion in commitments to private equity funds of funds and co-investments, both in the U.S. and internationally. CFIG‘s 101 professionals are based at the Group‘s offices in New York, London, Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Portland.
CFIG specializes in developing customized private equity investment programs that address the specific needs of investors and which benefit from leveraging the Credit Suisse platform. CFIG develops fund investment programs for active institutional investors who have a specific portfolio need and for emerging institutional investors who have a need for assistance with asset allocation, portfolio development and administration, due diligence, and other advisory services, or any combination thereof. Once established, CFIG takes a service-oriented, long-term partnership approach to its customized accounts.
CFIG‘s clients include sophisticated institutions and high-net worth investors. Credit Suisse‘s extensive transaction experience, which includes coverage of many top-tier private equity sponsor groups, allows CFIG to access and analyze many leading private equity and venture capital funds. CFIG currently manages over $3 billion of commitments to funds sponsored by small and emerging managers for sophisticated institutional investors including Teacher Retirement System of Texas, Virginia Retirement System, and New Jersey Division of Investment. CFIG actively invests in funds managed by small and emerging managers and, consequently, is exceptionally familiar with the small and emerging market and its impact on the future growth of the economy.