As homes electrify, smart panel tech from companies like (FootPrint-backed) Span.io becomes vital


Span.io is a company that investors (including us) think can help avoid billions of spending on investments in grid infrastructure -- simply through a small upgrade to the humblefuse box.


That was the vision that Span's founder, Arch Rao, laid out when he raised his first $10 million investment after leaving his position at Tesla to launch the company.


The former product head of Tesla energy has now raised a fresh $90 million in financing from investors including FootPrint Coalition Ventures (that's us!), and some of our favorite investment partners -- lead investors Fifth Wall Climate Tech and Wellington Management Group (and previous investors like Congruent Ventures).


“We as a country and frankly, as the world, need to shift to electrifying everything,” Fifth Wall Climate Tech managing partner Greg Smithies told Bloomberg News, which first broke the news of Span's new funding. “Having intelligent panels in the houses potentially decreases the total amounts of billions of dollars of investments you need to put into the grid.”


With the new funding, Span will continue to expand its products beyond the electrical panel that it launched with two years ago -- and which garnered rave reviews from publications like Wired.


"It’s a long-overdue, borderline genius product that stands to shake up a decidedly dull, stodgy industry and puts much-needed control back into the hands of homeowners," wrote Christopher Null last year.


Around the same time, Span introduced Drive, its $500 electric vehicle charger that connects to the much more expensive electrical panel.


With bi-directional charging becoming a standard feature on electric vehicles (so they can power homes in an emergency as well as charge up from the house when grids are operating), the additional control features that Span offers could potentially be much more attractive.


“Customers are either having to be limited at how fast they can charge their car or spend thousands of dollars in upgrading their services,” Rao told Bloomberg. “I think that’s the core product functionality that’s differentiated for us.”


Other investors in Span's round included Van Jones' Obsidian Investment Partners, Angeleno Group, and A/O Proptech.

"Electrification is critical for addressing climate change, but the increased demand on a home’s electrical supply can require expensive upgrades," said Greg Wasserman, Head of Climate Innovation Investing at Wellington Management, in a statement. "We’re excited about the potential for SPAN’s products to allow better utilization of existing electrical systems while also adding valuable functionality like circuit-level monitoring and control, and we look forward to partnering with SPAN."


275 views