Urjanet, which considers itself “the world’s largest utility data network,” and announced today that it has raised $14.65 million in a Series D Investment, with participation from Equifax, as well as venture funds including Oak HC/FT, Grotech Ventures, and Correlation Ventures.
The Atlanta company, founded in 2010 and focused on aggregating and compiling utility account data for businesses seeking to quickly improve efficiencies in their energy use, will use the funds to grow and market the adoption of its platform in both consumer and commercial use cases, and to launch new products.
Among those is Urjanet’s Utility Bill Capture for Payments, which is available now. Providing touchless invoice processing and bill payment for monthly utility and telecom services, the product’s API integration automates B2B and consumer bill payments for thousands of utility and telecom providers in 47 countries.
“As the global leader in utility account aggregation, Urjanet is proud to be at the forefront of financial services and payments innovation providing an alternative data platform built on a 100% permission-based data access model,” said Sanjoy Malik, CEO of Urjanet.
“This investment during a time of market uncertainty further validates that the work we’re doing is critical to businesses across industries as they transition from people- and paper-based processes to fully digital environments.”
With almost three-quarters of accounts payable departments at utility companies across the U.S. still handling invoicing and payment by manual paper processing and face-to-face interactions, the coronavirus pandemic has caused a need for an accelerated change in operations. The realities of COVID-19 now mean that digitally automated payment processing, enabled with no-touch invoicing and bill payment through a broad network of utilities, is no longer the future — it is the safer and swifter way of today.
Representatives from two of the investors shared their confidence in Urjanet’s market potential in a statement.
“With the Equifax investment in Urjanet, we are emphasizing the importance of both alternative data sources and digital payment experiences in the financial health of consumers and businesses,” said Sid Singh, president of United States Information Solutions (USIS) at Equifax.
Singh also acknowledges the problem of credit invisibility, which he says Urjanet erases. “Giving people the ability to easily share their utility payment history can result in better loan and service decisioning and expanded access to credit — something that has become even more critical in the wake of COVID-19.”
Patricia Kemp, Oak HC/FT co-founder and managing partner, agreed. “With the growing demand for electronic payments accelerated by the recent dramatic shift away from face-to-face interactions, Urjanet’s proven track record and tremendous growth over the past few years positions the company to tackle the unique challenges at the forefront of this transition. We’re proud to further our support of the Urjanet team during their continued expansion in financial services.”
Urjanet’s $20 million Series C was announced in March 2017.