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Currant Carries Away $7M Seed Round

       
PALO ALTO, CA, Currant, a creator of smart products that reduce energy consumption, raised $7 million in seed funding.
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Currant, a startup devoted to creating smart products that reduce energy consumption, today announced the Currant Smart Outlet -- the first smart outlet on the market powered by artificial intelligence (AI). This unique outlet and its connected app enable customers to view a breakdown of their power usage and receive personalized, easy-to-implement suggestions for taking control of their homes and their energy bills. The company also announced it has raised $7 million in seed funding.

Americans spend approximately $19 billion every year, or about a quarter of the household electricity consumed in the US, on devices that are not actively being used.1 Currant addresses this problem by leveraging AI to help people discover the biggest energy offenders in their homes so that they can cut excess electricity usage without sacrificing comfort or convenience.

"Millions of people grossly underestimate the effect plugged-in but inactive devices have on their power bills," said Hasty Granbery, founder and CEO of Currant. "Currant tackles this issue by analyzing usage patterns and suggesting simple, customized changes to automatically power off unnecessary devices and cut energy consumption."

The Currant Smart Outlet incorporates the best features of both smart outlets and energy monitors, and introduces insights from machine learning. Currant's technology also boasts:

-Real-time electricity usage and intuitive graphs that display energy consumption and cost by hour, day, month, or year.

-Remote monitoring and control, so customers can ensure that devices and appliances are off whether they're down the street or across the country.

-Connections with Amazon Alexa and Google Home to enable voice control of outlets and devices.

-Advanced energy monitoring with each outlet calibrated using high-precision test equipment.

-The highest safety ratings of any smart outlet.

To get started, customers simply plug in the Currant Smart Outlet and connect to the app, available for iPhone and Android. The app automatically detects the outlet and displays real-time information on energy usage. Customers can opt to set outlet-specific rules right away to turn the power on and off according to their preference and schedules. Alternatively, they can use Currant as a normal outlet for a week, and it will deliver tailored suggestions based on the types of device utilized, the amount of energy consumed, and the individual's unique usage patterns. For example, Currant may suggest a rule that eliminates idle power usage by turning a set-top box off when the TV is not on, saving as much as $30 per year with a single smart outlet.

Designed by Bould Design, the studio responsible for the Nest Thermostat look and feel, the Currant Smart Outlet features a sleek, reflective surface, two independently-controlled outlets, and a plate that can switch directions to keep cords organized and out of the way.

"We believe in the vision Hasty Granbery shared with us for Currant, and maintained our focus on function, simplicity, quality and character when designing the smart outlet," said Fred Bould, founder and design director of Bould Design. "This is an exciting, easy-to-use product that brings the future to every consumer as it effectively decreases energy consumption."

In addition to Granbery, who sold his previous company to PayPal, the Currant leadership team includes executives from Apple, Jawbone, PayPal and Flextronics. The company has raised $7 million in funding. Uncork Capital and K9 Ventures, two investment firms with established track records of investing in hardware companies, led the funding across two rounds. UP2398, Precursor Ventures, and a consortium of investors in the construction industry also participated.

"We view the Currant Smart Outlet as the first in what will become a long line of energy-saving smart home products," said Jeff Clavier of Uncork Capital. "Hasty has demonstrated his ability to develop innovative technologies and grow successful startups, and he has formed the ideal team to bring a new breed of practical, intelligent products into consumers' homes that will help reduce global energy consumption."

The Currant Smart Outlet is available for purchase at currant.com and on Amazon for $59.99.

About Currant

Currant creates smart home products that give people control over their homes - and their energy bills. Coupling the latest technology with advanced AI capabilities, Currant makes it easy to view, analyze, and understand electricity usage, empowering consumers to change wasteful patterns without sacrificing comfort or convenience. CEO Hasty Granbery founded Currant in 2015 after he discovered that his toaster used more energy each day when it was idle than when it was making toast, and wanted a way to easily see how everything else in his house was affecting his energy bill. The company is based in Palo Alto, California.
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