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BP Ventures sets sights on Chinese energy management AI market with $3.6m investment

BP inks deal with R&B as oil giant continues to beef up its presence in the fast expanding energy management market

BP Ventures has made a foray into the fast expanding artificial intelligence (AI) market in China with a $3.6m investment in energy management specialist R&B, the firms announced this morning.

R&B’s energy management systems apply AI analytics to predict, control and improve a building’s energy use. According to the company, its Software-as-a-Service platform processes data on the energy use of commercial and industrial (C&I) buildings, formulating recommendations to boost energy efficiency, optimise performance, and lower carbon emissions.

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

It aligns with BP Alternative Energy’s focus on beefing up the oil giant’s clean technology portfolio, the firm said, highlighting how buildings account of for one third of the world’s energy consumption and with rapid growth underway across China’s cpommercial property sector R&B could play a significant role in curbing emissions.

“Digital technology, smarter consumers and bold decarbonisation targets are together rapidly changing the world’s energy systems.,” said Dev Sanyal, BP Alternative Energy chief executive. “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.”

The investment also advances BP Ventures’ aim of deepening its engagement with the Chinese market, where it is seeking direct investment opportunities in the investment arm’s five strategic areas: advanced mobility; power and storage; carbon management; bio- and low carbon products and digital transformation. It also expands BP Ventures’ involvement in smart energy management, building on last year’s investment in UK-based AI firm Grid Edge.

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