innogy International Middle East (IME) today announced it has invested £500,000 in UK-based Verv, creators of a smart home hub using artificial intelligence and blockchain, to further support the smart living transformation in the Middle East.
innogy IME’s ambition is to support the UAE government’s vision to take a leading role in smart cities and the application of cutting-edge technology. The investment is the latest in a series of disruptive technologies secured by innogy IME.
Verv is a London-based start-up specializing in machine learning and blockchain in the energy sector. Its IoT hub can determine the power-use and cost of key appliances in a home in real-time. Verv’s hub samples a home’s energy data at a super-high frequency to accurately identify individual home appliances. Using blockchain in the device, the hub can enable p2p trading of renewable energy between neighbors.
“Verv fits perfectly within our company’s mission, investment strategy, and product portfolio. With their skillful team, innovative coupling of various disruptive technologies and product offering, we were keen on participating in the investment round. We aim to add Verv to our Smart Living client offerings and plan on supporting its global expansion in general and across the Middle East.”
The investment will be used to help drive forward Verv’s Middle East proposition which will include the development of its three-phase hub which will enable compatibility with a wider set of buildings, and targeting a number of strategic partners to help with expansion.
“With a real appetite for disruptive technology, innogy IME is driving smart living innovation in the UAE and it’s an honor to be working with such a progressive company. innogy’s vision of smarter, greener living is very much aligned with our own, as we look to pioneer an energy transformation. The UAE continues to welcome challenger technology and we cannot wait to expand our offering into a region that is so forward-thinking.”
“We strive to support the Smart Dubai initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the happiest and smartest city in the world.” says His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Chairman of Innogy International Middle East LLC and MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).
“Our vision at innogy International Middle East (innogy IME) is to become a leader of the Smart Living transformation, focusing on the three pillars of Smart Living that include Smart Cities, Smart Energy, and Smart Business. We aim to make the world greener, smarter and digitally empowered, with a high quality of life and happiness. Adding Verv to our portfolio will further strengthen our commitment to the smart and digital energy world of tomorrow,” he added.
Having filed 7 patents for its award-winning AI and blockchain-based technology to date, Google-mentored Verv has achieved global traction. The company is currently raising £350,000 on Crowdcube to support planned international growth in the Middle East, Far East, and Europe, with 85% raised within the first week and a half.
How Verv’s technology works
Verv’s technology reads data up to five million times faster than a smart meter, enabling it to identify unique energy signatures and unlock real-time consumption and cost per appliance as well as more smart home opportunities such as on/off alerts for heated appliances.
Its advanced machine learning algorithms can start to identify if white goods such as a washing machine are deteriorating and even where the problem lies, for example, if it’s the washing machine’s filter causing the problem. So, beyond providing users with unique energy usage insights, this technology opens up opportunities in the insurance and elderly care industries thanks to its intelligent and non-intrusive nature.
Taking the smart home one step further, Verv has created a peer-to-peer renewable energy trading platform based on blockchain technology and facilitated by its VLUX token. The trading platform allows homeowners with renewable energy generation like solar panels to sell surplus energy directly to their neighbors at the best economic value for both parties. This is thanks to the Verv hub’s ability to predict energy supply and demand based on historic household behavior and weather forecasts, and automate trades in advance. This enables green energy to become more readily accessible to the masses and also incentivizes the uptake of renewable energy by offering owners a return on their investment.
Verv’s blockchain-based platform is currently being implemented at a social housing community in London where Verv executed the UK’s first peer-to-peer trade of energy using blockchain in April.