Q&A Interview with LO3 Energy’s Lawrence Orsini and Shell’s Kirk Coburn

Following the announcement that Shell Ventures has invested in LO3 Energy, we spoke to LO3 Energy’s Lawrence Orsini and Shell’s Kirk Coburn to get their views on the agreement and the future of energy.

LAWRENCE ORSINI, CEO LO3 ENERGY

 Where is LO3 Energy currently as a business?

 “We are currently deploying our first commercial product, setting up Local Energy Markets (LEMs) with partners in the US and abroad. We are looking to take these to market as an official product, not a pilot or project.”

 How important is the next phase of development for LO3?

 “This is a very important time period for us. In the next eight months, we expect to make a very significant impact in our development – one that will help grow the deployment of our platform and add significant value ahead our next investment round.”

 What made you want to specifically get Shell involved?

 “Shell has expressed that they want to be the largest energy retailer in the world – so that makes them very attractive, both from the perspective of our LEM product and the TransActiveGrid. They have been very active investors in the new distributed digital economy space and they are very progressive. They’re exactly the type of partner we look to work with.”

 Your initial investors were strategic – are these the same and if so in what way?

 “Oh yes, Shell is very strategic for us. The size and scale of Shell means that, there could be significant scale and deployment opportunities within their supply chain and businesses.  That is a huge opportunity.”

 What will this latest investment allow LO3 to achieve?

 “This latest investment will allow us to make a very significant uptake in the development and deployment of our LEM product.”

 Aside from the financial investment, how do you intend to benefit from the new business relationships?

“Shell has a retail arm, they have a trading arm and they have strategic investments that are very much in line with the distributed transactive energy future that is currently disrupting the marketplace. We are looking forward to all those opportunities.”

 Will LO3 be setting up any projects with Shell?

 “That is the intention.”

 Are you still open for investment – and if so until when?

 “We are constantly in discussions with potential investors but right now we are no longer open for investments – except for in Exergy. Our next investment phase will be B-round, and that will be with strategic investors.”

 With this new investment, where do you see LO3 Energy in a year?

 “This time next year, we will have deployed local energy markets commercially, launched product and be moving on to our second commercial product, which is yet to be announced.”

KIRK COBURN, INVESTMENT DIRECTOR, SHELL VENTURES

What opportunity do you think LO3 Energy can bring Shell?

 “Shell aims to make electricity a significant part of our business. To do this, we need to be involved at every stage of the electricity supply system: from generating electricity, to buying and selling it, to supplying it directly to customers.  With its focus on transactive energy markets, LO3 Energy is a great fit.”

 What excites you most about working together with LO3?

 “I have been impressed by LO3’s ability to learn from the market and adapt their business model while not straying from their core purpose of enabling customers to unlock the power of clean and localized energy. This is impressive as a young company and something that shows their maturity.”

 Will you be working together on any energy projects?

 “We are currently investigating numerous projects and ideas.”

 How do you anticipate LO3 developing in the future?

 “LO3 is one of the leaders in developing distributed ledger based two-sided marketplaces to revolutionize how energy can be generated, stored, bought, sold and used, all at the local grid level. Shell Ventures believes LO3 will continue to expand in the US and outside of the US empowering localized energy marketplaces.”