For the past year we’ve covered a number Swedish cleantech startups – Chargestorm, Ngenic and CorPower Ocean among others. Now it’s time for Watty, and I had a quick chat with Hjalmar Nilsonne, CEO and co-founder of the company.
So first of all, how would you pitch Watty to someone who’ve never heard of you?
Watty is a company that wants to eliminate energy waste in homes and buildings throughout the world. In as good as every home there is a number of things that lead to completely unnecessary waste of energy and money. Finding out what those things are, is really difficult, expensive and boring.
In as good as every home there is a number of things that lead to completely unnecessary waste of energy and money. Finding out what those things are, is really difficult, expensive and boring
At Watty we are solving this problem by building a product that finds the smartest way to save energy and money in each home, accurately and automatically. We do this in a three step process: first the family installs a simple, low-cost, hardware that goes onto their electricity meter. This device collects data on how the family uses energy every 3-5 seconds. This data is sent to the cloud where we use machine learning analytics to figure out which appliances have been used, when and for how long. Once we have created an appliance breakdown we evaluate your spending to alternatives and find the most effective ways for you to save. Then we bring it all together in an app where you can see where your money is going, how much you have saved by changing different things and also what is happening in your home right now (for those “Oh no did I leave my stove on?” moments).
We do all the evaluation for the user and generate the only thing they want to know: what specifically should I change? And we communicate this in a way that makes sense to people, which is in relative terms to other similar households.
Who are behind the company?
I used to teach how to model home energy use with software in a course at KTH and from doing that countless hours I became convinced that energy data was a vastly underused resource. We started collaborating with some of the great academics at KTH to validate the initial hypothesis and started the company early 2013. Today Watty has a team of about 10 people and is led by me and CTO Ali Mosavian.
How does your business model look like? B2C or B2B?
We think it is really important to get our technology into the hands of as many families as we can. That naturally leads to B2B relationships being very interesting. Our main focus is on building a great product however and that happens with direct testing with families. If you’d like to shape the future of analytics for the home – sign-up to be a beta tester right now!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
So many things come to mind. As a group of engineers I think we have all been surprised of the impact communication has on our business. If you ask people if they want to save some money on their energy bill, it is not unusual for people to not care too much. Ask the same family if they are happy with their current relationship with utilities or about wasting energy at home you get very strong engagement instead.
As a group of engineers I think we have all been surprised of the impact communication has on our business
Where will Watty be in one year?
In one year we have our product ready for whoever wants to use it – and it is well on its way of being distributed to millions in collaboration with big partners. We have also started to prove some important hypotheses about the value that can be extracted from energy data.