BP expands energy management with Chinese AI buy

BP Ventures has invested in energy management specialist R&B, BP’s first venture into artificial intelligence (AI) technology in China.

The $3.6m investment is part of R&B’s latest funding round, which was led by BP Ventures and supported by CLP Innovation Ventures, a subsidiary of CLP Holdings Limited, and JAFCO Asia.

R&B’s energy management systems improve a building’s energy use, and the acquisition supports BP’s move toward creating a complete digital energy value chain and wider Energy as a Service (EaaS) provider.

According to BP, buildings currently account for one third of the world’s total energy consumption and R&B’s software uses AI to generate recommendations for improving energy efficiency and, as a result, reduce carbon emissions.

Dev Sanyal, BP Alternative Energy chief executive and executive vice president, regions, said: “Digital technology, smarter consumers and bold decarbonisation targets are together rapidly changing the world’s energy systems. BP is determined to help meet society’s demands for more energy, delivered in new and cleaner ways. Our investment in R&B, a business developing and deploying innovative technology to improve energy efficiency, is fully aligned with this strategy.”

This is the latest investment in China for BP Ventures, and follows an investment into PowerShare, a leading software solution provider for electric vehicle sharing, last year and a $10m investment in NIO Capital to explore opportunities in advanced mobility in 2018. Overall, BP Ventures has invested over $500m in technology companies across mobility; power and storage; carbon management; bio- and low carbon products and digital transformation.

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