Wattcost, a Sydney-based start-up that provides real-time updates on energy efficiency steps homes and businesses can take, has been on a winning streak in the past month as they prepare to launch.
The year-old hardware and cloud-based data analytics start-up has been named in the Global Cleantech Top 10 Asia Pacific start-ups, and the top 300 globally. They also won the Fishburners Pitch series competition last week.
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Co-founder David Soutar told StartupSmart they were ready to launch their full website and start selling within the month, and customers should start receiving the device before Easter 2014.
Soutar says the hardware device, which is attached to electricity boxes, is what puts their business ahead of their competitors.
“There is a lot activity in the space internationally. There are even a couple of companies in America that are attacking a similar issue to us, but they don’t have a hardware product and are relying on data from other people so they can’t do it in real time. But the real-time updates are critical to change behaviour,” Soutar says.
Despite the change in federal government, the likely axing of the carbon tax and the uncertain fate of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Soutar says he’s confident consumers are still searching for a product like Wattcost’s.
“There is huge market opportunity with this tech,” he says, noting that no one had solved the problem for households.
“Everything on the market was too techy or expensive and didn’t tell people how to actually save money. We aren’t planning a dramatic shift in our approach. Australians would love to be able to do something, but haven’t been able to yet, and we’re ready to enable that.”
The start-up is yet to take investment, but Soutar says they’ve begun conversations with a few angel investors as they look to roll out their product.
“We’re planning on coming out pretty fast onto the marketplace. We’re appealing to end consumers and we’re going to go direct to them, we’ve also lined up a series of retail partnerships,” he says.
Soutar, who graduated from a Founder Institute accelerator program last year, adds the biggest hurdle they’ve overcome has been finding the right team members.
“Finding the right people and building a team has been challenging. We’ve been very fortunate to get the awesome guys we’ve got who are all experts in their own areas who share a common passion and belief in why we’re doing this,” he says.