Fredericton-based Anessa Biogas Software has finished a capital raise from a roster of investors that includes Halifax’s Concrete Ventures, Toronto’s GreenSky Capital, the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation and Saint John’s East Valley Ventures.
The parties did not reveal the size of the funding round.
Anessa makes software for feasibility assessments of biogas plants, as well as an artificial intelligence system that models the best “recipes” for plants that have already been built. Biogas is created when organic materials, such as farm waste, are fermented to form fuel.
“Due to the nature of the production process being 100 percent organic, real-time data does not exist for operators,” said Concrete Ventures in a press release. “By the time they receive warnings about what is happening inside the plant, it is often weeks too late to course-correct.
“Anessa gives operators the ability to see into the future. Using predictive analytics, operators can now see how the decisions they make today will impact the production weeks from now.”
The Anessa funding announcement comes amid a wave of funding in Atlantic Canada. Earlier Thursday, Smart Skin Technologies, also based in Fredericton, announced the close of a $10.7 million funding round, led by BDC Capital. NBIF and East Valley Ventures were also involved in the Smart Skin round.
Anessa was founded in 2015 by Amir Akbari and Farough Motasemi, who were then engineering graduate students at the University of New Brunswick. Akbari is now the CEO and Motasemi is the CTO.
The company has two main products – Anessa OD-A, which assesses the feasibility of proposed biogas facilities; and Anessa OD-O, which helps customers optimize existing facilities.
Concrete Ventures, which has more than $17 million in assets under management, added that the cost of constructing new biogas plants is a major barrier to entry in the industry, and Anessa’s feasibility assessment software could help reduce the risk involved.
Anessa, which began life named WenTech Solutions, has won several awards since its launch six years ago. In its first year, it was a finalist in NBIF’s Breakthru competition. In 2019, it won the New Brunswick Bioscience Achievement Award, presented by the industry association BioNB.
The investment is the first in Atlantic Canada for Greensky, an early-stage venture capital fund that launched in 2010. It is also the first investment for Greensky’s fourth fund, a $15 million fund that was also announced on Thursday.
“We believe that Anessa has identified a real – and currently unfilled – market need,” said Greensky Managing Partner Greg Stewart in a statement. “Since launching their AD-O and AD-A products for the biogas industry not long ago, they have significantly grown their sales and built a series of critical relationships.”