RealTime IT News

Utility.com Raises $22M in Third Round

Emeryville-based Utility.com announced this week the completion of its third round of venture financing, raising over $22 million. Gaz de France, one of Europe's largest gas companies, led the deal.

Recently named the "Best-Performing Utility Web Site in the World" by Andersen Consulting, Utility.com is attempting to put the energy and telecommunications industries online through a database of service offerings from electricity, telephone and Internet access providers. Initially the company hoped to capitalize on deregulation in key states like California, allowing users to search, compare and purchase service offerings from area providers, but has since moved to focus on a partnership program with providers in regulated area.

Chris King, founder and CEO of Utility.com, says the company will use the funds to support operations as it implements its "eUtilities Program" partnerships. Through the new Program, the company is working to establish itself as an application service provider (ASP) to traditional utility and telecommunications companies, assisting with the selling of electricity and telecommunications services via the Internet. The company also hopes to provide online bill payment and customer service for its partners, levying transaction fees for those services.

"This investment round puts Utility.com in a strong position to build on its marketing successes through the implementation of eUtilities alliances with traditional utilities across the United States," says King. "Together with the utility partners, we will bring our multiple products and services online to residential consumers in regulated energy markets."

All investors in Utility.com's earlier rounds of financing contributed to the round, including Southern Company Energy Marketing, Sempra Energy Trading, idealab!, idealab! Capital Partners, Trident Capital, PRIMEDIA Ventures, Kinetic Ventures, TL Ventures and Moore Capital Management. Joining Gaz de France as a new investor was Sumitomo Corporation of Japan, one of the country's largest integrated trading companies.