Optimum Energy Raises $4.5M, Eyes Expansion in Cleantech-IT for Commercial Buildings

6/17/09Follow @gthuang

Seattle cleantech company Optimum Energy has secured a commitment of up to $4.5 million in new equity funding, led by Columbia Pacific Advisors. The company has previously raised capital from private groups, and said it does not anticipate future funding rounds. Optimum Energy’s technology is being used by more than 50 large customers, including the San Jose and San Diego airports.

Optimum Energy makes software that helps large commercial buildings manage their heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to be more energy efficient. Instead of running the motors and pumps at maximum capacity, as most buildings do constantly (to meet the demands of the hottest day of the year, for instance), Optimum’s software backs off the throttle by only feeding electricity to the motors in short bursts. That keeps the building’s temperature comfortable without wasting a lot of energy.

“Since the company was founded in 2005, we’ve been focused on a capital efficient validation of market size and the performance of our technology,” said Nathan Rothman, CEO and founder of Optimum Energy, in a statement. He added that the company plans to expand its sales and engineering teams as it responds to increasing market demand for its cleantech software.

Xconomy profiled Optimum Energy back in April, about six months after the company launched its energy-efficiency software product for commercial buildings. At the time, Optimum Energy had 30 employees, and had recently enjoyed some profitable months. Rothman said its product has the potential to halve the heating and cooling bills of some 110,000 large buildings in the United States, and that if Optimum’s technology were implemented across the country, “you wouldn’t have to build another power plant for 10 years.”

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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