World : Iconiq Lab accelerator adds energy blockchain firm Verv

Frankfurt-based decentralized venture capital group Iconiq Lab announced Tuesday its latest addition to its ICO accelerator program – a machine-learning startup Verv, maker of the VLUX token. The new addition acknowledged the universal need for renewable energy through Verv's peer to peer energy trading platform, and was meant to drive the industry towards a new-form data marketplace where consumers are in full control and able to monetize their data for the very first time, Iconiq Lab said.

Verv created a peer-to-peer renewable energy trading platform based on its IOT smart hub device which can obtain a comprehensive and real-time overview of power consumption in a home using artificial intelligence (AI). The trading platform lets homeowners with renewable energy sources such as solar panels sell any excess energy directly to their neighbors via the blockchain at the best value for both the 'prosumer' and the consumer, it added.

The smart hub can predict the supply and demand of energy using machine learning and thus trade it in advance for the user, the firm said. With a live, peer-to-peer energy trading project currently underway at a social housing estate in London, Iconiq is proud to be supporting a firm which is already implementing blockchain technology in a live setting and with support from multiple government grants, as well as UK regulator OFGEM.

Verv in April executed the UK's first physical peer-to-peer trade of energy on the blockchain at the London deployment, the firm said, and it plans to bring down energy bills, especially for those most in need.

"We're delighted to be working with Iconiq Lab as we work towards revolutionizing the energy industry as it stands, changing the role that data plays across the sector in favor of the consumer and bringing electricity bills down to zero," said Verv CEO and founder Peter Davies in prepared remarks. "We're excited by the expertise that they have to offer and can't wait to move forward with our project and multifaceted VLUX token with their valuable support to hand."

The Verv hub measures ultra-high-resolution data from the home to unlock a vast amount of big data from the home that has previously been untapped, adding yet another level of functionality to the VLUX token, the firm said. In a bid to create a new data marketplace that's centered around the consumer, reportedly for the first time, Verv partnered with data sharing ecosystem Ocean Protocol to let consumers share their electrical data with third parties in a safe and secure manner, and in turn "receive money off of their energy bills in the form of VLUX tokens," it added.

Verv is one of a few companies in the UK selected to be part of Launchpad, Google's startup program, and is currently on the Amazon launchpad program, the firm said. The firm received investment from the social arm of utility firm Centrica and Scytale Ventures among others and raised £1.1 million (US$1.5 million) in an equity crowdfunding round on CrowdCube, bringing on board over 1,000 investors, it added.


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Smart Grid Bulletin February 2019

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