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Exowatt, Funded by Sam Altman & Katherine Boyle, Developing Renewable Energy for AI Data Centers

April 22, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Andreessen Horowitz General Partner Katherine Boyle, and multiple venture capital firms are funding Exowatt, a renewable energy startup that wants to offer cost-effective power for generative AI applications and data centers.

Hannan Parvizian, CEO, Exowatt

Exowatt, based in Miami, Florida, surfaces at a key time. Indeed, U.S. electrical systems are not expanding fast enough to meet rapidly growing power needs of technology like Generative AI, prompting data center businesses to sometimes bypass utilities, Reuters reported.

Generative AI applications running in cloud data centers have further complicated the situation. Indeed, AI could consume up to 3.5% of the world’s electricity by 2030, Gartner predicts. In terms of current projects, 73% of IT buyers are not completely prepared for the energy requirements of AI, research from Pure Storage and Wakefield Research finds. Moreover, 89% of IT buyers found ESG goals more difficult to meet as a result of upgrades to their IT infrastructure for AI adoption, Pure Storage and Wakefield added.

Exowatt Funding Round, Renewable Energy Business Focus

Katherine Boyle, general partner, Andreessen Horowitz

Amid those challenges and opportunities, Exowatt has lined up funding from Katherine Boyle at Andreessen Horowitz8090 IndustriesOvermatch VenturesProtagonist, and "many other amazing institutional and angel investors," according to Exowatt CEO Hannan Parvizian, who previously held key posts at Tesla, General Electric and Siemens.

The total raise was $20 million, The Wall Street Journal reported.

In a LinkedIn update, Parvizian wrote: "At Exowatt we believe that modular, linearly scalable technologies that can take advantage of economies of scale rather than economies of size are needed to allow us to offer an end-to-end energy solution for our customers not only to be able to deliver dispatchable energy to them throughout the day but eventually do so at far below the cost of fossil fuels and almost for free."

Exowatt's first goal, he asserted, is to "scale our technology to deliver power at $0.01 kWhe. This would of course be a game-changer for many energy intensive applications that might not even be feasible today because of high energy prices."

Among the current market challenges he noted: Over 60% of data center operating costs go "towards the energy bill for cooling and processing power. If we cannot find an extremely affordable way to pay for the energy needs of AI we will be limiting its usability and reach."

With those challenges and opportunities in mind, Parvizian expects Exowatt to become "the largest renewable energy company in the world."


Data Center Energy Requirements: Venture Capitalists, Startups Jump In

Sam Altman
Sam Altman, CEO, OpenAI

Competition in the data center energy market could be fierce. Venture capitalists and angel investors are funding dozens of startups that want to efficiently power existing and next-generation data centers.

Among the companies and investors to watch:

Moreover, public cloud providers such as Amazon Web ServicesGoogle Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure are striving to embrace renewable energy to power their data centers.

Platform Global 2024 Conference: Data Center Investors Plan Next Moves

What's next? Keep an eye on the Platform Global 2024 conference, scheduled for September in France. The annual event serves investors and leaders in the data center market -- especially as it pertains to colocation, hyperscale, ESG, power generation and AIO capabilities.

As for Exowatt, we'll be watching and listening for general availability information and potential partner program information.

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