The home electrical panel dates back about 100 years, and Span.IO figures it’s time for an upgrade. The San Francisco startup aims to reinvent how consumers use electricity, and investors are betting tens of millions of dollars that it will succeed.
Span is best known for a smart electrical panel that lets homeowners use an app to track their power consumption and control and monitor every home circuit. The panel sells for $3,500 and gives users real-time insights into how their homes source, store, and use energy.
The smart panel is part of a larger suite of home energy products and solutions that includes Span Drive, a Level 2 electric vehicle home charging station that sells for $500.
Span Drive, launched in October 2021, marks the company’s first foray outside electrical panels. It is designed to charge faster and cleaner than competing EV chargers and allow users to maximize their charging speeds and optimize their energy use without home electrical upgrades.
This kind of innovation has helped Span make a name for itself just four years after its founding. The company’s flagship smart electrical panel has already racked up numerous awards, including wins for “Best Home Technology Product” and “Best Energy Efficient Product” at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders Show. Span was also named as one of Fast Company’s 2022 “World’s Most Innovative Companies.”
Now the company is readying for its next stage of growth and innovation following a $90 million Series B funding round that closed on March 22, bringing the company’s total funding to date to $134 million. The round was led by Fifth Wall Climate Tech and Wellington Management, with additional funding from Angeleno Group, Robert Downey Jr.’s FootPrint Coalition, Van Jones’ Obsidian Investment Partners, A/O PropTech, and all of Span’s existing board investors.
Span will use the money to continue developing its home suite and grow its business, which will include expanding its lineup of products. Longer-term, the company eyes international expansion. For now, its products are only available in the United States.
“We started with reinventing the electrical panel, as it is the core component to any scalable path to electrification of homes, but the consumer experience demands more,” Founder and CEO Arch Rao said in a press release. “We’re excited to deploy this new capital to expand our product offerings that simplify the decarbonization of homes, and to continue developing the unparalleled approach to home energy management that Span is uniquely positioned to deliver.”
Span’s chief selling point is that it can help homes become more resilient in an age when many regions of the United States face greater threats of power outages from wildfires, storms, and grid-stressed blackouts. The company’s products are designed to integrate with battery backup systems or standby generators, which means homeowners can keep powering their homes even when the grid shuts down.
“We believe in electric everything,” Span says on its website. “Homes and cities around the country are moving away from natural gas and fossil fuels, which have negative impacts on human health and the environment. We’re here to make it easier and better to have all-electric everything in your home.”
Much of the company’s current focus is on its EV charging station in terms of renewable energy. In an interview, Rao said many consumers would move into renewable energy via EVs because they are more accessible than solar panels. Span’s EV charger is designed to help consumers avoid one of the main challenges of EVs: the upgrades to residential electrical systems that are needed to charge electric vehicles properly.“Customers are either having to be limited at how fast they can charge their car or spend thousands of dollars in upgrading their services,” Rao said. “I think that’s the core product functionality that’s differentiated for us.”