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Exclusive: Jasmine launches energy trading app

Illustration of a hundred dollar bill stylized as an electric symbol.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Jasmine Energy this morning launched an energy trading app and marketplace that enables retail traders to buy and sell electricity from the couch.

Why it matters: The Y Combinator company tells Axios that its Robinhood-like app can accelerate climate investment by driving casual traders to obscure energy exchanges.

Flashback: Jasmine in September closed a $2.5 million seed round during Y Combinator's twice-annual demo day.

  • UpHonest Capital, Cerulean Ventures, GSR, Focal VC, Collaborative Fund, and Climate Capital participated.
  • The round was raised at a $22 million valuation, CEO Nathalie Capati said.

Catch up fast: It's impossible to track how individual electrons flow across an electric grid. So companies buy and sell "energy attribute credits" to represent the low-carbon power they're using or generating.

  • Trading those credits has become a lucrative if esoteric market.

The latest: Jasmine launched a blockchain-backed app to draw new investors to energy credits markets.

  • The app had about 5,000 members pre-launch, including institutional investors and some Fortune 500s, the startup says.
  • The idea is to bring liquidity and transparency to a market that's traditionally been opaque and fragmented — much like the country's electric grid itself.

What they're saying: "If we want to replace oil, we need to operate like oil, which means including speculative markets," Capati says.

What's next: The D.C.-based startup is using the capital from its raise to in part connect with various energy credits registries across the country.

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