Describe the company for us:
We all know climate change is a problem and we know that more renewable sources of energy are needed but the process of developing them is malfunctioning. Financial modelling for renewable energy projects can be costly and no current solution gives all of the key players a proper ‘big picture’ view. Exceedence can fix this. We have created software that allows businesses to plan, analyse and optimize their renewable energy projects and investments. We have refined our knowledge into a cloud-based platform that helps fast-track the development process for renewable energy projects. We provide a ‘helicopter view’ for these projects, helping to assess whether they will make or lose money, and to identify and manage risks effectively.
How are you different?
We make FINTECH software for the Onshore/Offshore Wind, Wave and Tidal energy sectors to analyse and optimize technology and projects with KPIs such as Yield, Capacity Factor, LCOE, NPV and IRR. In the renewables space, this is generally done through excel or consultants. There are some software packages but nothing end to end.
The software is the first of its type built around standards and suitable for wind energy (onshore, offshore and floating), wave energy and tidal energy. We are presenting a new way to technically and financially model, analyse and optimise renewable projects and to connect developers to governments and investors through a cloud-based platform.
Whats the The Tech bit?
Built on the Microsoft .Net stack, and specifically the MVC platform, our cloud version takes the proven logic of our desktop system into a high-performance scalable architecture which we are confident will meet the needs of our increasing customer base. Specifically: we built the GUI using HTML5 and Microsoft ASP MVC5 architecture proposed by Microsoft MVP Senior Software Engineer – @Christos Sakellarios in his blog, https://chsakell.com/2015/02/15/asp-net-mvc-solution-architecture-best-practices/ We included a set of encrypted web services to allow current and future partners to access our processes and data for use in their own applications. Our database is hosted on Azure SQL, and is replicated to ensure full availability to a worldwide audience.
Why will you do well?
The company aims to connect the supply chain without the overbearing need for document control and auditing of spreadsheets, much like SAGE or Quickbooks has done for the accounting world. The strength of our software is not only quickly understanding the basics but also being able to analyse, optimise and ask those all important what-if scenarios.
Also, since it’s cloud-based, our software can now work with data from other companies to create unique products and explore other channels. We are already working with a multinational on one such product. They give us credibility and a ready-made global sales reach.
Where are you based?
Our main office are at the Environmental Research Institute, Lee Road in Cork. We also have space in Dublin in NDRC, St James gate and just set up an office in Catalyst building, Belfast.
When was the company launched?
We spun out from UCC in 2015 and have been profitable ever since. We now have 5 full-time and 1 part-time staff member. We licensed a desktop version from UCC in 2015 and it formed the prototype for the cloud version.
What have been your biggest wins to date?
We can split them into a number of categories.
In terms of growth and acceleration, being selected by NDRC as one of their Catalyser companies really put us on the right path. We got €100k investment plus fabulous mentorship and benefits. For example we got $360,000 Azure credit from Microsoft which pays for all our cloud development sever resource and software.
In terms of business development we won a joint project funded by SEAI with Wood PLC to co-develop software with them. This was a great chance to develop and prove that our webservices could add significant value to another product. It has led to a joint product called Optiwave that we are currently marketing. https://www.woodgroup.com/what-we-do/view-by-products-and-services/digital-solutions/optiwave It’s a big win for us as working with a Multinational gives great credibility.
We also just got some great news that jumps us way ahead of our sales targets in that we have secured an EU INTERREG funded project as part of a wider Marine Energy Alliance that will bring up to 40 new customers to Exceedence. This four-year project will kick off in September and our budget is €600k. We are one of eight experts within North-West Europe that will provide an integrated approach to technical and commercial support services to forty offshore energy companies within this region. We will be bringing our expertise, our software and the combined Wood/Exceedence software offering Optiwave to the table. This is a really good opportunity for us, as it will provide yet another platform to bring our software to (the EU) market to a ready-made segment of that market and get some guaranteed sales.
We won UCC spin out of the year in 2015. We were a finalist in the start-up world cup and came 2nd in the WAYRA start-up competition.
Who are you trying to attract to your product?
We want our product to be accessible to the whole market. That’s why we have chosen a SaaS option with different tiers that can be matched to customer requirements. However, our key new targets with the cloud offering are at the upper end of the value chain. Consultancies, Governments and investors.
What tips would you give to others looking to build their business?
This is a super simple answer. Businesses fail because they don’t have customers. Get early customers, learn from them and give them what they need. All the other stuff like soft funding, EI and investment will all be much easier if you have customers and revenues. We did a lot of engagement early on and we continue to do it.
Tell us about your team?
You can see our team know renewables, software and finance. They have been empowered to develop our opportunities and think strategically. For example, Chris and the software team have developed us a cloud product that opens up a number of new markets and revenue streams that we didn’t see. Annicka has successfully sourced and manged key projects including community wind and the latest €600k EU project. John is having the high level conversations with the right companies to understand how to best position us for a future exit.
What are your plans for the future?
Our next objectives are commercial. We want to roll out the first tier of our offering and our joint product with Wood PLC. So marketing, business development and sales. We also want to provide excellent product support so will be developing the assets and training materials for that. Finally we will continue to develop other tiers of the product and continue on our roadmap making sure to get customer feedback at every opportunity.
What are your favourite tech gadgets?
At home, it’s the smart heating that we fitted from LightwaveRF. Nice app integration, independent zones and rooms as well as remote control. Saves us a bunch on heating costs and the house is toasty where and when it needs to be. We fitted it last year when we had a new baby.
At work, it has to simply be either the iphone or my Toshiba Kira Ultrabook. When you are travelling you have the entire office in around 1kg.
What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?
A flying car for Cork traffic.
A teleportation system for all those Dublin and London meetings.
Or more seriously – proper end to end back office system. We all use so many different systems and even if you try hard to converge you still have to work with other companies on prjects. On a daily basis we have outlook, skype, basecamp, hubspot, teamwork, Microsoft dynamics, mailchimp, clickmeeting, gotomeeting, onedrive, googledrive, dropbox, twinfield, jira and don’t get me started on social media integration.
What stage are you at?
We are about to launch the first tier of our cloud based product. To support the roll out of their new cloud based software for renewable energy finance, we are raising £250k for 11.1% equity through crowdfunding www.crowdcube.com/exceedence. We customers, clients and colleagues that cover all of the verticals we hope to sell to in many of the regions and markets that we will be targeting. Many of them have invested in this Crowdcube round which is great for us strategically. We also had our original investor NDRC follow their money into this round.
However, we also want to connect to the wider crowd as we want ambassadors, evangelists, realists and critics to support us on the journey. We are disrupting a global sector and so far with Crowdcube we have had pledges from 18 countries. We have had investments frm as little as £10 up to £75k. The round is still open.
Over the past 2 years they have deployed their Renewable Energy Financial software in multiple applications and projects around the world. They have taken all that real world experience plus customer feedback and have distilled it into a new cloud based platform. They are getting ready to launch the new software https://exceedence.com/our-software/ and their combined offering with Wood PLC (https://www.woodgroup.com/what-we-do/view-by-products-and-services/digital-solutions/optiwave). With the launch they will be able to offer software as a service (SaaS) to the whole supply chain through a tiered offering (Lite, Standard and Enterprise). They will use the investment to grow, scale and drive sales and have already secured a €600k EU project that will see them deliver their new software and services to 40 companies. They are also an EI HPSU so would expect follow on investment.
How do people get in touch with you?