Aug 24, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Energy giants stake infrastructure risk-cutting startup Urbint

Illustration of a hundred dollar bill.

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Major power and oil companies are funding a tech startup that helps detect risks to critical infrastructure — including energy networks.

Driving the news: Urbint just announced $60 million in Series C funding to scale its platform that uses AI to "stop failures, damages, and worker injuries before they happen."

  • New investors include American Electric Power and OGCI Climate Investments, the VC arm of a coalition of oil majors called the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative.
  • The round is led by the VC firm Energize Ventures, which is another new investor, as well as existing backers like Energy Impact Partners and National Grid Partners.

The big picture: New York-based Urbint — whose customers include Southern Co. and National Grid — says infrastructure legislation moving through Congress will expand the need for threat deterrence.

How it works: Urbint's tech has applications for power and gas utilities, telecom, oil-and-gas projects and pipelines, and more. It aims to ID risks including fires, outages, explosions and worker accidents.

  • It's designed for uses like predicting power line failures that can cause wildfires, and gas pipeline leaks.
  • The company says the transmission build-out envisioned in the infrastructure legislation and related proposals to accelerate renewables deployment will also require new risk deterrence.
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