Frankfurt-based decentralized venture capital group Iconiq Lab has added Verv to its ICO accelerator program. Verv is the machine-learning startup behind the VLUX token.

This addition recognises the need for the capability to ‘trade’ renewable energy. This will occur through Verv’s peer to peer energy trading platform. In addition, Iconiq Lab hopes to drive the energy industry towards a new-form data marketplace where consumers have control and are able to monetise their data. Iconiq Lab plans to leverage its expertise in blockchain, tokenomics and initial coin offerings to aid Verv and its VLUX token (which is currently undergoing the pre-sale for its ICO).

Patrick Lowry
Patrick Lowry

Iconiq is always looking for quality projects led by outstanding teams that solve real-world problems through the integration of blockchain,” said Patrick Lowry, CEO of Iconiq Lab. “Verv’s new data marketplace secures and monetizes personal energy consumption data for consumers and families, bringing revolutionary blockchain into the home.

The Verv platform

Verv has a peer-to-peer renewable energy trading platform. The pivot is its IoT smart hub device which can obtain a real-time overview of the electricity consumption of a home by using artificial intelligence.

This trading platform enables homeowners with renewable energy sources like solar panels to sell excess energy to neighbors via a blockchain. The objective is to provide the best value for both the ‘prosumer’ and the consumer. For this to work, the Verv smart hub’s must predict the supply and demand of energy. It does this via machine learning and can trade it in advance for the user.

Verv starts by identifying key appliances in a home so that it can the occupier how much each device costs, in addition to the kWh consumption. With technology, occupants see this information live whenever:

  • an appliance turns on
  • the need is to see overview of usage over a chosen time.

As Verv ‘gets to know your home’, it will identify the appliances in use. This provides a real-time feed. Occupants can see what electricity they consume at any given moment.

A live peer-to-peer energy trading project is currently underway at a social housing estate in London. This implements blockchain technology in a live setting (and enjoys support from multiple government grants, as well as UK regulator Ofgem). In April of 2018, Verv executed the UK’s first physical peer-to-peer trade of energy on the blockchain in this very community.

The Verv goal

Verv’s goal is to bring down energy bills, especially for those most in need. The social housing estate is such an example.

In addition, the Verv hub’s ability to measure ultra high resolution data from homes unlocks a vast amount of big data (from those homes) which was previously untappable. This adds another level of functionality to the VLUX token.

In a bid to create a new data marketplace, one centred around the consumer, Verv is  partnering with data sharing ecosystem Ocean Protocol. This will enable consumers to:

  • share electrical data with third parties in a safe and secure manner
  • take money off of their energy bills in the form of VLUX tokens.
Peter Davies
Peter Davies

We’re delighted to be working with Iconiq Lab as we work towards revolutionizing the energy industry as it stands, changing the role that data plays across the sector in favour of the consumer and bringing electricity bills down to 0,” said Peter Davies, CEO & Founder of Verv. “We’re excited by the expertise that they have to offer and can’t wait to move forward with our project and multifaceted VLUX token with their valuable support to hand.

About Iconiq Lab

Iconiq Lab is a “Decentralized VC Club and Initial Coin Offer Accelerator for Blockchain Startups”. It sources, funds, develops and tries to accelerate the best crypto, blockchain and tokenizable startups to an ICO or token sale.

Iconiq Lab proclaims that it “help(s) launch tokens supported by real-world, sustainable business solutions. Iconiq Lab is:

  • a portfolio company and strategic partner of Finlab AG, a German publicly traded fintech investor and company builder
  • a sponsor firm of the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX).

Enterprise Times: what does this mean

Google’s startup programme selected Verv to be one of its first participants in Launchpad. It also has a connection with an Amazon launchpad programme. Verv has received investments from the social arm of Centrica (the parent company of British Gas) and Scytale Ventures. It raised over £1M in an equity crowdfunding round on CrowdCube, bringing on board over 1000 investors.

These are the financial and VC/investment figures. They are less important. What is more significant is where the Verv technology, including its use of blockchain, goes. The risk is that, in search of a quick payback, Iconiq Lab will distract Verv from its social dimension. This would be a pity for that social dimension, whether in social housing or social business, could open a door which (investors) most pass by.

That said, the apparent dependence on the Vlux token together with Iconiq Lab’s ICO expertise suggests the technological expertise in Verv may become diluted by the needs of the token/ICO marketplace. This would be a pity.


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