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Exclusive: GridBeyond picks up Veritone's energy business

Illustration of an electrical plug and cord forming the shape of a dollar sign.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Irish energy-services firm GridBeyond acquired the energy unit of California software developer Veritone to beef up its electricity trading, forecasting and consulting services.

Why it matters: The deal marks GridBeyond's first acquisition in the U.S. as it looks to expand its American footprint.

Details: GridBeyond bought Veritone's energy business in an all-stock deal valued in the "low millions," GridBeyond CEO Michael Phelan tells Axios.

  • Veritone's investors include Newport Coast Investments, Acacia Research and Turnstone Capital, per PitchBook.
  • GridBeyond is backed by EDP, Irish utility ESB, Dublin-based venture firm Act Venture Capital and Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures.

Context: Veritone is bailing water. The Costa Mesa company's stock (Nasdaq: VERI) closed at $3.89 as of Friday — roughly 90% off its February 2021 peak.

Zoom out: The deal comes amid a major slowdown in M&A activity.

  • The Veritone energy unit's discount price certainly made it an attractive target — and U.S. policy incentives helped.
  • "The U.S. is probably the most attractive energy market of all the energy markets in the world," Phelan says, citing the Inflation Reduction Act. "It wouldn’t necessarily be any more attractive than Ireland or the U.K. or Australia, but the IRA gives more certainty."

Zoom in: This is a tech play, Phelan says.

  • GridBeyond, which has an office in Houston, trades the energy generated by its renewable energy and battery assets in real-time electricity markets.
  • It plans to use Veritone's forecasting and design tools to expand into day-ahead trading, as well as enhance its current services.
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