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Legal & General leads investment in DSR platform provider Upside Energy

Manchester-based Upside Energy has completed a Series A investment round, co-led by Legal & General’s principal investment arm.

Legal & General Capital co-led the round alongside Systemiq, an investment and advisory firm established last year specifically to tackle system failures.

Upside has developed a cloud-based software platform that connects energy suppliers with end users, making the most of connected devices. The firm can take control of such devices on behalf of transmission and distribution network operators, suppliers and generators in order to alter demand curves.

The platform has been in development for three years and has benefitted from collaborative studies with government, universities and global equipment manufacturers.

Upside said the next stage of development is for the platform to be commercialised and then scaled up, with the fundraising contributing towards that process as well as expanding Upside’s team.

Systemiq and Legal & General have been joined in the fundraising by Modern Energy, a North Carolina-based energy asset management firm, and Bulldog Innovation Group, which provides venture capital for early-stage businesses; some individual investors also participated.

Graham Oakes, who founded Upside and serves as its chief scientist, said the fundraising was the culmination of four years’ work.

“We’ve taken Upside Energy’s cloud platform from a wild and speculative idea to a solid, innovative solution to help people harness the opportunities created by the confluence of two trends: the growth of renewable generation and the rise of smart devices. Our vision is to create a new, cleaner and more equitable, energy system,” he said.

John Bromley, head of clean energy at Legal & General Capital, said that investment was part of a growing interest not just in renewables, but in complementary technologies.

"We aim to create long-term social and economic value by investing in the future of our energy system. Ultimately we will enable UK consumers to enjoy affordable clean energy that is owned and financed by their UK pensions, savings and investments,” he said.