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Web3 startup eyes power management

Illustration of a cube with a glowing power bolt.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Anode Labs, a web3 startup, raised $4.2 million to support its blockchain-based protocol that helps homeowners better manage energy use.

Why it matters: Web3 startups that haven't had much luck with tech investors may find more willing backers in the energy space with more targeted applications.

Details: Lerer Hippeau and Lattice Capital co-led the round, which was structured as a SAFE convertible note and closed over the summer. VaynerFund, CoinShares and Digital Currency Group also participated in the round.

How it works: Anode Labs manages the React Network, a blockchain-based protocol that pays users to make their battery storage available to utilities during peak energy usage.

  • Anode Labs currently works with four battery companies that are able to plug into the React Network, but wants to be "battery agnostic" in the future, co-founder Jason Badeaux tells Axios.
  • Utilities pay for access to the aggregated storage capacity available on the React Network using its tokens. The proceeds of the sale are split between Anode Labs and the battery owner.
  • The startup is currently operating via private test with plans to roll out a public test network in Q2 2023.

Zoom out: Badeaux acknowledged that the web3 industry is struggling to maintain its credibility following the implosion of crypto trading platform FTX, and maintained that it was difficult to get energy investors on board with the company's structure at first.

  • "Clearly the market has cemented at a low place," Badeaux says.

The bottom line: Anode Labs is betting that its stake in real-world assets in aggregated energy storage will help lift it above the larger crypto conversation and into a largely experimental market with energy management.

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