Image source: MIT Technology Review. Photographer: Luigi Avantaggiato.
We have closed a £1 million seed funding round to further develop our low carbon cloud compute network. Founded in 2017 as a British Gas innovation project aimed at supporting people living in fuel poverty, we enable companies to significantly reduce their carbon footprint while saving families up to £450 per year on their energy bills. The round was led by Mark Boost of Civo, with remaining contributions from Green Angel Ventures and other angel investors. British Gas retains its stake in the business.
In 2022, the UK’s 450+ data centres accounted for at least 12% of the UK’s electricity consumption; the waste heat from just one could provide enough hot water for 11,000 homes. By capturing the waste heat from its servers into domestic hot water cylinders, heata uses the energy twice: Once for compute and again for hot water, reducing energy consumption by 60%. We let our cloud customers - which include companies with heavy cloud compute requirements such as 3D animation and visualisation studios - to reduce their compute carbon footprint and support households who are struggling with their bills in a cost of living crisis.
Data centres' energy demands are exploding, having a significant impact on the grid. We show how we can re-imagine data centres, to reduce their climate impact and go beyond their core purpose to support the need for heat in society.
This round of funding will be used to propel the team forward with new hires in sales, marketing, design and IT. This will enable heata to build greater market awareness, develop its cloud offering and onboard new cloud clients, support ongoing development of the network and undertake further R&D.
Chris Jordan, our Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, explains how heata’s technology has a social and economic impact on society:
"Data centres are fundamental to our modern lives but they do use (and waste) enormous amounts of energy. All the processing energy ends up as heat and more energy is spent getting rid of it. But heat is useful, why waste it? At heata we’re reusing it to help tackle fuel poverty in a cost of living crisis; another key challenge of our time. This enables a step change in sustainable compute with a genuine social impact.”
Michael Paisley, our other Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, highlights the significance of this funding round:
“This funding round will allow us to bring our positive impact to more companies and families. Our main focus right now is expanding our base of 3D rendering customers such as animation and visualisation studios - We recently rendered a 2 minute flythrough for Landsec and Model Works which saved 250kg of carbon and generated 14 tonnes of hot water - That's over 100 days of hot water for an average household!”
Meanwhile, Magali Christensen, Investment Manager for Green Angel Syndicate - the only UK angel investment syndicate specialising in the fight against climate change - says:
“We are delighted to be investing in heata. This is a very good example of re-thinking systems to gain previously unperceived advantages in the fight against climate change. We applaud the team’s ingenuity, diligence and commercial acumen. This is a company with huge potential.”
heata hosts, Austyn and Catherine in Ash Vale, UK, explain why they wanted to get onboard:
“Tackling climate change is important, especially for our children. Borrowing the energy from cloud compute to offset our hot water heating seems like a brilliant way to help!”