Conviction News can reveal that Pratexo has closed an $8 million seed funding round in an extension of the first tranche of $3.5 million announced in June 2021. Pratexo has now raised a total of $8 million in seed funding, according to Blaine Mathieu, CEO in follow-up correspondence to a Q&A with Conviction. The round was led by the Bozeman, Montana-based impact investor BCP Ventures, following participation in the first tranche alongside Raiven Capital and Northscaler in June 2021.

In a Q&A with Conviciton, CEO Blaine Mathieu disclosed the previously unreported close of a second tranche of seed funding, bringing the round’s total to $8 million and confirmed by email after Conviction’s scoop and earlier report. Confirming the $8 million close Blaine Mathieu said Pratexo had other positive news in focus that included winning ABB’s Distribution Solutions in the third annual ABB Electrification Startup Challenge for digital innovation and energy sustainability.

May has seen the startup both secure an additional $4.5 million seed funding and the opportunity to develop and launch a product to a global audience with ABB. The Startup Challenge awarded Pratexo a project worth $30,000 with ABB Electrification, which will co-develop the proof-of-concept with the aim of achieving additional commercial opportunities with ABB, ABB’s accelerator SynerLeap and Microsoft.

As Conviction has been reporting, Pratexo is one of three digital innovators to win the ABB Electrification Startup Challenge run by ABB in collaboration with SynerLeap and Microsoft to find solutions that save energy, lower emissions and increase climate resilience. Headquartered in Austin, Texas and founded in Norway, Pratexo considers itself Norwegian-American today. It currently has employees based in Norway, Sweden and the US.

ABB’s Distribution Solutions category sought digital startups to pitch proof-of-concept projects that provide critical services, hospitals, utilities and data centres with solutions to mitigate increasing complexity and rising demand for electricity. Pratexo’s edge computing for intelligent grid optimisation can rapidly deploy systems that process large volumes of data and run advanced analytics in real-time.

Pratexo was among 9 finalists that pitched in Berlin by invitation from the second stage, where 20 startups were shortlisted from over 100 entries sent in from around the world. ABB and Pratexo will co-develop the platform for ABB’s customers to improve decision-making in their operations.

Blaine Mathieu, CEO of Pratexo in Conviction’s Q&A:

“Pratexo is unique because of the ease and speed with which it can deliver flexible solutions for the intelligent grid. Our platform provides the ability to rapidly stand up systems that can process large amounts of data generated by IoT sensors and then run advanced analytics and even complex applications in real-time.”
Image credit: Pratexo

Pratexo’s expertise is the rapid deployment of cloud platform solutions to process large volumes of data and run advanced analytics in real-time. Lead investor BCP Ventures believes Pratexo is a transformational, IoT platform-as-a-service (IaaS) platform and is bullish about the startup’s ability to plug into smart cities, energy grids, agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, transport and the built environment among other sectors.

According to BCP, edge network providers like Pratexo will benefit from a total market spend of more than $800 billion by 2028. BCP’s interest centres on the future of smart cities and innovations that will drive a healthier and more sustainable future. Impact investor BCP Blitz, the ‘Smart Society VC’ is focused on foodtech, agtech and climatetech innovation in Europe and the US. Investors in the first seed round tranche, Raiven Capital is a US-Canadian early-stage VC, focused on impact, AI, 5G and IoT.

Blaine Mathieu, CEO of Pratexo last year:

“[Pratexo’s tech has] already begun to add strategic value. As a Canadian, I am excited that Raiven shares a common philosophy that combines the best of Canadian innovation with Silicon Valley speed. This will ensure the company’s success.”

Jarl Ulvin, Managing Partner of BCP Blitz LP last year:

“Distributed computing on the edge represents the next wave of technology. Our Fund is excited to have an early position in a platform that lowers the hurdles to true digital transformation.”
ABB’s Startup Challenge category Distribution Solutions was taken home by Pratexo, an edge-computing startup headquartered in Austin, Texas that recently closed an $8 million seed funding round. ABB’s Distribution Solutions category sought digital startups to pitch proof-of-concept projects that provide critical services, hospitals, utilities and data centres solutions to mitigate increasing complexity and rising demand for electricity. Pratexo’s edge computing for intelligent grid optimisation can rapidly deploy systems to process large volumes of data and run advanced analytics in real-time. ABB and Pratexo will co-develop the platform for ABB’s customers to improve decision-making in their operations.

The first seed funding tranche of $3.5 million was reported by the likes of CB Insights, Crunchbase and FinSMEs but thus far not the top-up. Blaine Mathieu, CEO of Pratexo confirmed in a follow-up with Conviction via email that the startup had in fact closed the $8 million round this month with lead investor BCP following on for a total of $4 million in the edge network’s promise to optimise electricity grids alongside other applications.

Pratexo’s intelligent grid optimisation proof-of-concept project impressed ABB’s judges with its application of edge computing. In brief, its distributed cloud platform accelerates the time to design, test and launch next-gen AI, IoT and Industry 4.0 applications and the co-development of the winning pitch is just one way that Pratexo plans to enable companies to be more sustainable in the energy sector to industrial systems more widely.

Left to right: Ciro Lanzetta and Emilio Simeone from i-EM; Blaine Mathieu and Mats Olsson from Pratexo; and Lucas Senn and Joel Samsinger from MOOST. Image Credit: ABB

Pratexo says the use cases for its technology are broad. Leveraging open and proven technologies, the startup configures architecture for specific edge applications that range from shipping, to energy, utilities, defense, and the built environment.

Thoughts? Questions? Don’t forget to subscribe for free and leave a comment below. And if you’re interested in the Startup Challenge, follow the thread back to our interview with ABB’s Anton Kotov, and previous winner Q&A with Tallarna’s CEO Tim Meanock.

Plus there’s Conviction’s wrap on Startup Challenge 2022 and features on the other winners - Q&A with MOOST which won Smart Building and Q&A with i-EM for Smart Power.

Image credit: Pratexo

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