Prisma Photonics raises $20m for AI-driven 'sensor-free' grid monitoring tech

Upgrades and enhancements to power grid management and monitoring are crucial parts of the energy transition process to accommodate the complex inputs and outputs of various energy sources.

Prisma Photonics, a 2017-founded AI-driven large-scale infrastructure monitoring technology startup, announced it raised $20m in a Series C round led by New York-based global private equity and venture capital firm Insight Partners, with participation from Elements, a Climatech fund, SE Ventures (Schneider Electric's venture capital arm), Future Energy Ventures (the venture capital investment and collaboration platform of E.ON), Chione Switzerland and INcapital.

Power Grid Monitoring

Without the need to install any sensors on infrastructure, Prisma Photonics' Hyper-Scan Fiber-Sensing technology monitors infrastructure using the existing optical fibers covering great distances of up to thousands of kilometers.

This technology offers power transmission operators better ways to manage their grids, enabling them to maximize the electrical capacity of the current grid to increase the integration of renewable energy sources. 

Real-time alerts delivered by the technology on electrical faults and extreme weather conditions such as wildfires and icing are reported within meters of accuracy, offering more robust ways to retain grid resiliency in changing environments. In this way, operators can also better respond to the requirements of new emerging regulations such as FERC order 881 in the US and similar.

"Grid congestion and the integration of renewable sources have become pressing challenges for power market operators such as our Tier-1 customers," stated Dr. Eran Inbar, CEO of Prisma Photonics.

"Our AI-driven technology not only adds a layer of resilience to the grid but also enables dynamic line rating capabilities, unlocking the full potential of existing infrastructure. This investment led by Insight Partners highlights the urgent need for innovative, scalable solutions in critical infrastructure management."

Ganesh Bell, Managing Director at Insight Partners, said that there are both huge market necessities and vast potential for Prisma Photonics' monitoring solutions in the power and energy sector today. "Their unique blend of AI and engineering expertise addresses some of the most urgent challenges facing power operators today and their AI application can help solve consequential problems in infrastructure."

"It's a high-growth space, and doubling down on our investment in Prisma Photonics is not just strategic but imperative. We're thrilled to back Eran and his team as they redefine the future of energy infrastructure management," added Bell.

This financing round brings the total funding raised by Prisma Photonics to over $50 million. The company's earlier investors include Israel Electric Corporation, Israel Natural Gas Lines and i3 Equity Partners.

Beyond the power sector, Prisma Photonics' optical fiber sensing technology also serves other infrastructure sectors, including oil and gas pipelines, subsea infrastructure, highways, railways and other long-range utilities.

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