(GE) General Electric Company Acquires Stake in Start-up

Tendril, the developer of the first integrated software/hardware platform to enable real-time, two-way communications between utilities/retailers and their customers on energy supply and consumption, is broadening its smart grid relationship with General Electric Company (GE) beyond appliances with an equity investment by GE Energy Financial Services.

GE Energy Financial Services is treating the venture capital investment as a follow-up to Tendril’s announcement in June that it raised $30 million in Series C funding, making it one of the best-funded energy management startups.

The Tendril Residential Energy Management Ecosystem (TREE) is designed to help utilities operate more efficiently to improve customer service and comply with new regulatory requirements.

GE’s investment builds on its appliances partnership with Tendril. GE Consumer & Industrial and Tendril announced in July that they would integrate the TREE Platform to work with GE’s dryers, refrigerators, washing machines and other appliances. GE appliances such as stoves, washers and dryers, dishwashers and refrigerators will communicate their power needs to the utilities in real time. The utilities can then redistribute power as needed more efficiently.

Tendril is a strategic complement to GE’s suite of ecomagination and smart grid investments and products, with multiple commercial and technology development opportunities for collaboration.

In other smart grid initiatives, GE Energy Financial Services has made a venture capital investment in Grid Net, a leading provider of open, interoperable, policy-based network management software and communications products for the utility industry’s smart grid.

GE Energy Financial Services’ experts invest globally with a long-term view, backed by the best of GE’s technical know-how, financial strength and rigorous risk management, across the capital spectrum, in one of the world’s most capital-intensive industries, energy. GE Energy Financial Services helps its customers and GE grow through new investments, strong partnerships and optimization of its more than $22 billion in assets. Major competitors of GE are Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV (PHG), Citigroup Inc. (C) and Siemens AG (SI).

We currently have a Neutral recommendation on General Electric.

Zacks Investment Research
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