Portfolio #energy
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17 July 2023
Meet Allye, the startup reimagining energy storage at scale

Meet Allye, the startup reimagining energy storage at scale

On the back of the recent investment news we spoke to Jonathan Carrier, cofounder and CEO of Allye about reimagining energy storage with self-learning batteries, forward thinking cleantech VCs and the importance of not working with f*%kwits.

As three cofounders we want to harness the power of energy storage for good. With the energy crisis and seeing first-hand the second and third order consequences it was having on families, businesses and society, we have devoted our time to thinking how to energy storage could be reimagined at scale to reduce energy bills, support the transition to net zero, and reduce the effects of climate change for our planet and future generations. We want to have genuine impact on improving the lives of others while improving society to make lives better for us all.

Tell me about the business – what it is, what it aims to achieve, who you work with, how you reach customers and so on?

Allye provides distributed energy storage at the grid edge working in partnership with electricity network to accelerate decarbonisation of the grid while helping commercial and residential and customers to lower energy costs by up to 50%. Our smartly designed energy storage systems reimagine how batteries are connected, distributed and used. Flexible and modular, our batteries are self-learning, intelligently managed via the cloud to maximise cycle life and arbitrage on electricity prices. Using digital twins, we deploy machine learning and AI to optimise behaviour and performance as a collective of assets, to deliver benefits at an individual level to the end user and the energy network at a system level.

How has the business evolved since its launch?

We’ve been growing at an incredible rate. Since the start of March we have grown a business from zero and put in place everything we needed to recruit world-class talent, build relationships with potential customers and completed the engineering of our prototypes. We announced the company in June and our funding early in July. We are a company with momentum, and we are able to demonstrate our phenomenal pace of development alongside the positive impact we can generate as a business. We firmly believe in balance people, planet and profit, and are determined to build a successful and sustainable business that works for the many, not the few.

Tell us about the working culture at Allye

We build our culture based on freedom, empowerment and responsibility. It’s very much based around treating people like adults, giving them permission to succeed and fail in equal measure and finally (and most importantly), use good judgement. We feel if you employ these three tenets, you can avoid lots of policy and procedures. It means our code of conduct is simple: use good judgment. The cheat sheet on good judgment looks like this: Customer > team > individual

How are you funded?

We are backed by two forward thinking cleantech VCs, one based in the UK and another based in Germany. This expands our geographical footprint and demonstrates the need for energy storage and its role as a solution to help the global electricity grid.  Elbow Beach Capital is a private investment company focused on sustainable energy, decarbonisation and social impact businesses. EBC supports exceptional founders and their teams in scaling their businesses through capital investments, coupled with ESG and go-to-market expertise. EBC backs innovative entrepreneurs who are building businesses that will have a positive impact on our planet and society. Alpha Future Funds is a venture capital investment firm based in Luxembourg and Munich investing in pre-seed and seed stage startups fuelling the low carbon economy. AFF strives to be among the first investors and trusted partners to brilliant entrepreneurs with a shared vision for a sustainable future.

What has been your biggest challenge so far and how have you overcome this?

Every day presents new challenges, but however big or small they are, what matters is you approach them in the same spirit by remembering why we are here and what we are doing. There has been a herculean effort by the entire team to deliver on our short-term milestones which has required us to move at a rapid pace. Our biggest challenge has been there’s only 24 hours in a day! However, we try to make what we do fun, positive and engaging so that it never feels like work. Instead, we focus on our goals and demonstrating our capability and strengths.

How does Allye answer an unmet need?

As society accelerates towards a lower carbon, sustainable future, the energy system, and its stakeholders – generators, transmission, distribution and the system operator – need greater support. The grid requires greater flexibility to balance the electricity network and avoid capacity constraints. Through its intelligent energy platform and distributed battery systems, Allye will work across the entire electricity system to provide automated demand side response, increased flexibility, and range of services to deliver behind-the-meter ESS at scale, so the whole system can benefit and drive down electricity costs for end users. We target driving down energy bills by up to 50%* for factories, businesses, the high street and eventually all types of homes while supercharging the transition to renewable energy [*based on modelling and depending on the end user’s energy tariff]. Allye’s smart solutions will ensure an affordable and successful energy transition for all while empowering energy security and independence.

What’s in store for the future?

The team wants to rethink what a modern business looks like in the 21st Century one built on a core set of values and an ESG foundation that balances people, planet and profit. We are on a mission to build a more resilient, enduring business that generates respect and affection from customers, employees, stakeholders and partners. To do this we aim to build a business at scale, that considers equality, diversity and inclusivity at its core, and how we can support an energy transition that is more just and equitable for many, not the few.

What one piece of advice would you give other founders or future founders?

I have one simple piece of advice that I’ve learnt the hard way throughout my career: don’t work with f*%kwits. This means be careful who you work with, who you trust and who you listen to. Trust is the most important factor in business and the relationships you will have – your investors, colleagues and collaborators. All too often you will find people let you down, seek their own agenda or seek to diminish you, your abilities or success. Learn to avoid it first, if you can’t do that then remove it, and failing that just ignore it. Life will be much simpler and easier.

And finally, a more personal question! What’s your daily routine and the rules you’re living by at the moment?

Everything is a balance. Body and Mind. Work and life. It’s important not to forget to build a life while you’re making a living. I enjoy keeping fit in every aspect. I’m an early riser, so I’m off to the gym for my F45 class at 6am, and then back for when my two year old boy wakes up. I make sure I leave work at a reasonable hour so I can see my son and get him ready for bed. These are moments that you never get back, it’s important to cherish every one of them.

Jonathan Carrier is the cofounder and CEO of Allye.