Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Factore invests in Ferntech microgrid monitor

Steve Rogerson
March 19, 2019



German company Ferntech has received an undisclosed amount of seed investment from Colorado-based Factore Ventures to fuel the development of the company's microgrid monitoring and control platform.
 
The technology lets microgrid developers connect components from any manufacturer, monitor a fleet of systems from a single dashboard and add smart behaviour to their grids with simple visual programming tools. These features can reduce the cost and complexity of deploying microgrids and create possibilities in addressing global access to energy with off-grid and hybrid power systems.
 
"Current solutions for monitoring off-grid and hybrid power systems were missing a crucial component: the ability to act on the information being collected," said Patrick Cousins, CEO of Ferntech. "Our platform gives operators that capacity, in turn helping ease the burden of maintenance costs and simplifying future deployments."
 
Ferntech's platform securely centralises component data onto a single, web-based dashboard. System operators can view the status of their grids and take actions that improve performance and stability. Operators can easily change parameters of connected hardware, create their own control algorithms using Ferntech's visual programming tool, or apply pre-loaded optimisations developed by Ferntech.
 
Unlike some microgrid controllers – which are custom-built and only accessible to skilled programmers – Ferntech has embedded its expertise into a set of intuitive tools for the everyday operator. For example, users can remotely create status-based alerts for on-the-ground agents, enable productive use applications or intelligently dispatch excess energy to deferrable loads.
 
"Microgrid developers know what they want their grids to do, but don't have the tools to turn those ideas into reality," said Morgan DeFoort, co-founder of Factore Ventures. “Ferntech enables exactly that process. Our investment is based on the thesis that remote monitoring and control is foundational to the future of microgrids, and we're confident that we've picked the best team to create that solution."
 
Ferntech previously operated as Infinite Fingers.
 
Factore is a venture development firm with a mission to improve lives in the developing world through increased access to sustainable energy and related services. It finds, validates, funds, de-risks and grows a pipeline of social ventures that aim to solve global problems, and supports early stage entrepreneurs through a blend of risk capital and technical resources.