I’ll have more to say on this acquisition in a few days, but wanted to draw attention to GridPoint’s purchase of Lixar SRS, a scrappy but secretive energy management startup in Ottawa/Toronto that within the utility sector has attracted a lot of well-deserved attention. GridPoint, which has raised more than $200 million in venture capital, has been using that money to bolster its smart-grid software offerings. With Lixar is gets a flexible, user-friendly, cleverly designed energy management and demand-response system that works over multiple protocols and through any Web connection, be it PC-based, BlackBerry or iPhone. I’ve seen it in action and, in my humble opinion, it’s an impressive product.
While it’s a shame to see another promising Canadian venture scooped up by a foreign company, it seems GridPoint is serious about building up its Canadian presence and plans to more than double Lixar’s numbers in Ottawa. Lixar has built up quite a following within the industry, and it has done so quietly. Again, I’ll have more on that in a few days… stay tuned. But for background on what Lixar has done in Ontario, click here.
UPDATE: Wrote an article last week that mentions more details on Lixar and its acquisition by GridPoint. Among the insights: “Back in November, few would have noticed that Lixar signed an exclusive distribution deal with HD Supply, which sells wholesale supplies to utilities, construction companies and other industrial customers. (Home Depot sold off HD Supply in 2007 for $10.4 billion). Through that relationship, Lixar has landed substantial smart-grid pilot projects with major U.S. utilities Xcel Energy and Progress Energy. Industry sources say the company is also working with Duke Energy, Florida Power & Light and National Grid, as well as Cisco. Neither GridPoint nor Lixar would confirm those relationships.”