PRESS ANNOUNCEMENT - 20 APRIL 2021
Australian utility SaaS business, Neara (formerly Power Lines Pro), has raised AUD7.25 million in a Series A funding round led by Square Peg Capital.
The new funding, which also involved Skip Capital and a number of leading angel investors, will support Neara as it expands internationally, bolsters its existing product offering, and targets new infrastructure sectors.
Founded in 2016 by ex-Google software engineer Daniel Danilatos, Neara enables utility companies to design, analyse, and manage their assets, like power lines, through dynamic 3D digital twin modelling.
The utility industry spends billions annually physically assessing and maintaining critical infrastructure. Leveraging Neara’s digital model, they can perform complex engineering-grade analysis at a whole-of-network scale.
This enables Neara’s customers to improve their innovation, network performance, capital and operational expenditure, and in-field collaboration with immense speed and accuracy.
It also enables more efficient management of safety and risk; including real time decisions in disaster situations, such as storms, bushfires and floods, ensuring critical supplies of power are maintained.
While Neara has focused on the evolving energy space to date, the software’s unique architecture can easily scale into other critical infrastructure verticals and regions, creating significant growth potential.
It is this opportunity, and Neara’s compelling combination of a highly technical and proficient founder and team, that excited Square Peg.
James Tynan, the lead investor from Square Peg said, “With Neara we found a deeply technical team addressing a problem that is quite literally about keeping the lights on in life saving infrastructure. The need to bring hundreds of billions of dollars of infrastructure assets into the digital world will only become more acute as floods, fires, and storms threaten our growing infrastructure networks, and as new technologies are incorporated into these networks.
“The team is also deeply embedded in the sectors they’re serving. Their software goes beyond visualisation to provide critical, engineering-grade analysis developed through years of collaboration. It is this insight, combined with their ability to work at enormous scale that makes them a true game-changer.”
As well as expanding internationally with an initial focus on the US, Neara will be heavily investing in its existing product and team. The business plans to double its headcount from 25 to 50 in the coming 12 months.
Danilatos said, “Neara’s focus has always been on bringing its partners closer to their assets, environments and business through an intuitive and collaborative digital solution.
“Our goal is to democratise engineering so that our partners can conduct deep infrastructure analysis and make smarter decisions with real-life impacts. This investment enables us to hire rapidly and further build on our core offering so others can benefit from our vision.
“We are thrilled that Square Peg, Skip Capital and so many other respected investors have joined us on the Neara journey. Their support means we can scale our ability to meet the fast growing digital innovation appetites of the industries we serve.”
Kim Jackson, Skip Capital founder said, “Neara is an incredible product at the intersection of technology and large scale utility infrastructure. We’ve been incredibly impressed by Daniel and his team’s focus on solving utilities’ problems from first principles, as well as the progress they’ve made.
“Skip Capital invests in technology startups, as well as in infrastructure businesses (through the Skip Essential Infrastructure Fund), and so with Neara we not only see an impressive software product, but also the real need for cutting-edge technology in the infrastructure space.
“Having personally previously been a company director on the boards of a number of infrastructure businesses, including TransGrid and ElectraNet, I have first hand knowledge of the sector Neara is enabling. I am excited about the value add that Neara can offer utilities and also the broader infrastructure sector. We are thrilled to continue to support Neara in their Series A.”
In a special acknowledgement Danilatos also added, “We’ve been lucky to have customers like Essential Energy with us from day one. Their commitment, and vision for a digital utility future, has significantly contributed to our evolution and success today.”
The rebrand to Neara, which officially takes place today, is a reflection of the company’s diversifying growth ambitions into new infrastructure sectors. The name reflects how the company brings partners ‘nearer’ to their assets, environments and businesses.
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