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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.

Go deeper

Democrats pushing Biden to suspend federal gas tax

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Centrist Democrats are pushing President Biden to suspend the federal gas tax as a way of showing concern about inflation.

Why it matters: It's the strongest response yet from Democrats as Republicans make inflation a key part of their 2022 campaign messaging — but so far it's largely coming from candidates, not party leaders in Washington.

Flood of money pours into climate tech

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Funds are making moves to achieve climate solutions breakthroughs, as well as investing in companies that seek to help communities better manage the climate risks they already face today.

Driving the news: StormSensor, a company that monitors watersheds in real time, including providing flood data, announced on Wednesday that it has closed a $10 million funding round. The funding is co-led by Orbia Ventures and Buoyant Ventures, with participation from other funds and individuals.

Updated 23 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm lashed much of the East Coast Sunday and Monday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: Authorities in North Carolina confirmed that two people died in a car crash and that they responded 600 vehicle accidents during the storm on Sunday, per the Washington Post.

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