British Gas-backed cloud computing startup heata has closed a £1 million seed funding round to further develop its low carbon cloud compute network. 

Founded in 2017 as a British Gas innovation project aimed at supporting people living in fuel poverty, heata enables companies to significantly reduce their carbon footprint while saving families up to £450 per year on their energy bills. 

The round was led by Mark Boost of Civo, with remaining contributions from Green Angel Syndicate and other angel investors. British Gas retains its stake in the business. 

In 2022, the UK’s 450+ datacentres accounted for at least 12% of the UK’s electricity consumption; the waste heat from just one could provide enough hot water for 11,000 homes. By capturing the waste heat from its servers into domestic hot water cylinders, heata uses the energy twice: once for compute and again for hot water, reducing energy consumption by 60%. 

Heata enables its cloud customers – which include companies with heavy cloud compute requirements such as 3D animation and visualisation studios – to reduce their compute carbon footprint and support households who are struggling with their bills in a cost of living crisis. 

Datacentre’s energy demands are exploding, having a significant impact on the grid. Heata shows how we can re-imagine datacentres, to reduce their climate impact and go beyond their core purpose to support the need for heat in society.

This round of funding will be used to propel the team forward with new hires in sales, marketing, design and IT. This will enable heata to build greater market awareness, develop its cloud offering and onboard new cloud clients, support ongoing development of the network and undertake further R&D. 

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“Datacentres are fundamental to our modern lives but they do use (and waste) enormous amounts of energy,” said Chris Jordan, co-founder and chief technology officer. 

“All the processing energy ends up as heat and more energy is spent getting rid of it. But heat is useful, why waste it? At heata we’re reusing it to help tackle fuel poverty in a cost of living crisis; another key challenge of our time. 

“This enables a step change in sustainable compute with a genuine social impact.” 

Michael Paisley, co-founder and chief creative officer, added: “This funding round will allow us to bring our positive impact to more companies and families. 

“Our main focus right now is expanding our base of 3D rendering customers such as animation and visualisation studios – we recently rendered a two-minute flythrough for Landsec and Model Works which saved 250kg of carbon and generated 14 tonnes of hot water – that’s over 100 days of hot water for an average household.”

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