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Writing a New Chapter in the Tendril Story

Like a good movie or book, every company has a story and I am particularly proud of ours. It is a story of tremendous opportunity, near failure and satisfying redemption. Over the last year or so, we have been approached by a number of companies looking to buy Tendril and change the direction of our story, but our executive management team made the decision to double down and stay independent - because there is much more to be written and it is just too soon to hand over the pen.

Today we added a new chapter with the announcement that Rubicon Technology Partners (Rubicon) has made a majority investment in Tendril. Rubicon will be our primary investor giving us plenty of capital to grow the business and the capability to look at M&A opportunities. This funding also allows us to provide a healthy exit for our investors. These companies helped make our success possible with their faith and counsel, and I will always be grateful for their partnership.

So while we aren’t done yet, I’m confident in how this story will unfold - with Tendril as the #1 Home Energy Management (HEM) software company. It’s a natural conclusion for a company that defined the space.

Since not everyone is familiar with our story (and because I love telling it) this seems like an ideal time to provide a Cliff’s Notes version of Tendril’s history. Like most stories, ours has three acts:

Act 1: Heroic Optimism - Tendril set out with a vision to change the way the world uses energy. Our initial focus was on providing hardware and software that gave consumers insight into and control over their energy usage. Think in-home displays, smart thermostats, and interactive web portals. We invested heavily in technology we believed would change the market. Tendril quickly became the darling of the industry. Everyone took our calls. Despite our burgeoning fame we probably didn’t account for one critical component - utilities were not yet ready to commit to multi-year programs. But we believed in our technology and felt the energy industry was at a critical inflection point so we signed on for pilots confident they would be quickly followed by full scale implementations.

Act 2: The Market Stalls - We did lots of pilots. I think at our height we were running 50 across North America. But a company cannot survive and thrive on pilots alone. In 2011, as our pilots failed to turn into scale deployments, we had to resize the business to reflect that reality and double down on building a reputation for delivering quality solutions that our customers could rely on as we waited for the market to evolve. Lots of companies sold out or hit the wall during this phase. We were fortunate that we had the resources to not only wait for the market to evolve, but to invest heavily in the technology needed to thrive once the market moved. We invested over $100 million into our software platform and are reaping the dividends of that today.

Act 3: Breaking From the Pack - We persevered, when others sold or quit. It’s been more than 6 years since that fateful moment of clarity and Tendril has never been stronger. We are innovating at a faster rate than our competitors - Orchestrated Energy is changing the demand management landscape; Tendril was one of the first companies to offer a voice assistant solution that allows utilities to benefit from the rapid adoption of smart speakers; and we are now bringing the power of our incredibly robust analytics platform to utility DSM departments with a user friendly business intelligence tool. Our behavioral energy efficiency solution - the once fledgling business that got us on the other side of our self-imposed hiatus - is seeing tremendous adoption. And now we have this major investment from a partner that believes in what I believe in - our business, our people, our technology and our ability to make a positive impact on the planet.

I’ll be honest. We could have sold the business. Others in our space have done it to various degrees of success and that option was definitely on the table. But that is not the end to the Tendril story. No, we won’t be done until we are the #1 Home Energy Management software provider.

To be clear, obtaining that goal isn’t just about revenue or market share. It’s about having a positive impact on the planet by working with utilities to change the way the world uses energy. For our customers that means three things:

  1. Helping them transform the relationship they have with their customers to a highly digital, highly personal experience, driving customer satisfaction and efficiency up, and cost to serve down.
  2. Helping them grow and diversify their revenue away from a pure commodity play to one with value-add bundled products and services.
  3. Helping them play an important role in managing the energy for their customers in an environment where the smart home will drive lots of new opportunities for consumers and Utilities alike.

Today is a significant milestone on that journey and I am energized to lead this company and see what lies ahead. If the last decade has been any indication, it’s going to make for an incredible story.

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  • Continuous Demand Management
  • Customer Ops & CSAT
  • DERs
  • DSM
  • Data Analytics
  • Demand Response
  • Disruption
  • Energy Efficiency
  • HERs
  • High Bill Alerts
  • Privacy & Security
  • Smart Home
  • Solar

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