Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Energy Foundry invests in propane and oil IoT start-up

Steve Rogerson
September 13, 2016
Chicago-based Energy Foundry has invested $2.2m in Tank Utility, a Massachusetts-based software and IoT company applying the smart grid paradigm to the delivered propane and heating oil industry.
The seed investment round was led by Energy Foundry and Blue Fog Capital, with a syndicate of co-investors including Generac Power Systems, Bolt and angel investors.
With Tank Utility, the propane tanks used to heat and power rural homes and businesses are getting a major upgrade: internet-connected tank level monitors, cloud-based software, and mobile apps that streamline delivery logistics and improve customer service. Tank Utility’s product sales launched in late 2015, and thousands of subscribers across 46 states and Canada are using the remote tank monitoring services.
The platform brings efficiencies to the $60bn delivered fuels industry, cutting costs for fuel deliverers and creating a customer engagement tool that gives homeowners and businesses peace of mind.
"More than 30 per cent of households in the midwest rely on propane for heat, and Tank Utility brings a new level of visibility to energy consumers and their fuel suppliers,” said Sara Hochman, managing director of Energy Foundry.
Tank Utility’s customer value proposition also attracted strategic investment from Generac, a provider of residential backup generators based in Wisconsin.
“We are thrilled to be working with both Generac and Energy Foundry, as we expand further into the midwest, and nationally,” said Amos Epstein, CEO and co-founder of Tank Utility. “Since our launch, we have heard countless stories about how our service has prevented major damage to homes, helped keep businesses running, and saved tons of time and money. With this infusion of capital we are thrilled to be able to accelerate our growth and provide an even higher level of service."
Energy Foundry invests venture capital in promising energy innovators. Its approach merges investment capital with the perks of strategic partnership, and includes an arsenal of tools and relationships to help bring ideas to market. With the backdrop of Illinois’ billion-dollar grid modernisation efforts, the investment model is designed to reduce risk and accelerate speed to market for the promising grid and energy ideas.