O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures Invests in Amee

I’m pleased to announce that on Wednesday, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, our VC affiliate, closed an investment in UK-based Amee, which bills itself as “the world’s energy meter.” Here’s their description of what they do:

AMEE’s aim is to map, measure and track all the energy data on Earth. This includes aggregating every emission factor and methodology related to CO2 and Energy Assessments (individuals, businesses, buildings, products, supply chains, countries, etc.), and all the consumption data (fuel, water, waste, quantitative and qualitative factors).

It is a web-service (API) that combines measurement, calculation, profiling and transactional systems. Its algorithmic engine applies conversion factors from energy into CO2 emissions, and represents data from 150 countries.

AMEE aids the development of businesses and other initiatives – by providing common benchmarks for measurement, tracking, conversion, collaboration and reporting.

If you’ve been following my talks in which I urge software developers and entrepreneurs to “work on stuff that matters,” you know that I consider getting a handle on carbon accounting is the first step in putting a stop to global warming. (If you’re a warming skeptic, I consider global warming as a modern example of Pascal’s wager: if we’re wrong, and global warming is not human caused, the steps we’ll take to address it are still worthwhile. We get off foreign oil, improve our energy security, build new industries, improve the environment.)

Even apart from the contribution to a critical world issue, Amee is interesting because it shows that the future of web services will involve a much broader range of data services than most people imagine. I’ve long argued that the subsystems of the emerging internet operating system are data subsystems. Some of those, like location and identity, are obvious, and thus hotly contested. Others, like carbon data, are sorely needed, and not yet built out. There’s huge opportunity in finding and populating key databases, and then turning them into ubiquitous web services.

By the way, if you use dopplr, you’ve already seen Amee at work: it provides the data for dopplr’s carbon calculator tab.

Union Square Ventures is also an investor in this round. Partner Albert Wenger gives his take on the investment on their blog.

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