FirstFuel has much to celebrate in 2019. They successfully signed several blue-chip customers and, in late 2018, secured additional funding which reinforced their industry-leading position.
With the addition of big-business providers like American Electric Power (AEP), Exelon, ConEdison, and Seattle City Light to their client roster, FirstFuel now represents five out of ten of the largest utilities in the US.
“Knowing your customer is the key to getting ‘right now’ results and to navigating the transformation that’s happening in the utility industry,” said Swapnil Shah, FirstFuel’s CEO and co-founder. “We’re very proud to continue partnering with our clients to transform their data into customer understanding that delivers tangible business results.”
What’s their secret? Firstfuel customers have seen impressive savings after applying the company’s artificial intelligence-based data methods utilized by the company’s embedded apps and APIs. Their flagship SaaS product is a cloud-based customer engagement platform hosted on Amazon Web Services.
Designed to streamline services, the platform can scale across millions of meters and customers using cutting-edge security measures to protect data. With powerful data discovery capacities, the company uses meter-to-building mapping process that synthesizes meter data, billing data, and account meta-data. From that, FirstFuel can build a comprehensive overview of their customer base or an in-depth profile of each individual business customer.
They also offer analytics software capable of interpreting customer energy-use patterns, build characteristics and provide insights on weather responses, occupancy schedules, and energy end uses. FirstFuel also points to their platform’s ability to integrate their insights with other back-end and front-end applications.
Leveraging these tools means FirstFuel clients can put these insights into action by improving customer service and push adoption of programs like energy efficiency initiatives, electrification and distributed energy resources.
Accentures’ most recent research report shows that energy engagement-driven programs demonstrate a strong correlation with higher product and service adoption and customer satisfaction. The report also highlights potential savings of $10 million to $15 million in net savings for the average-size regulated energy provider over a five-year period.
FirstFuel also closed on extra capital, secured via a funding round led by Energy Impact Partners. They will use the cash to invest in their platform, expand integration functionality with other platforms like Oracle and Salesforce, and improving their insight-yielding artificial intelligence capabilities for their customers.
“The energy transformation is in full swing, changing the very products and services that have been delivered by utility companies for over 100 years,” said Lindsey Luger, Partner at EIP. “FirstFuel has established a dominant market position based on incredible AI technology and seen great results by connecting utilities more closely with their customers. We’re proud to continue our partnership and help shape the future of the utility industry.”
FirstFuel was founded in 2010 by a Swapnil Shah, a software entrepreneur; Ken Kolkebeck, a building energy veteran; Robert Kaufmann and Nalin Kulatilaka, two leading data science professors from Boston University. The privately held company is headquartered in Lexington, MA.