Spectral to scale its operations with significant new investment


From its roots providing integrated micro utility systems at festivals in 2015 to transforming the real estate and energy sectors through its tech platforms today, Spectral has journeyed far over the past eight years.

A substantial new investment will now help Spectral to scale its holistic approach toward transitioning the energy sector.

“You have to have an integrated approach to unlock the tools to make the transition happen,” said Tom Westra, co-founder and CCO of Spectral. “It’s not only about a battery or a bit of software or a few PV panels or a wind turbine, it’s about looking at system change as a whole.”

Spectral was born out of Metabolic, one of our first examples of the type of ventures we hoped to build to drive systems change. Incorporated in 2015, Spectral has grown to 81 employees and has been named one of the top scale-ups in the Netherlands for three years in a row.

The investment comes from ABN AMRO’s Sustainable Impact Fund (SIF), a leading financial institution known for its commitment to fostering innovation and sustainability. 

“Our most important goal for this funding round was to find an investor aligned with Spectral’s mission and vision,” said Philip Gladek, founder and CEO of Spectral. “We’re excited to embark on a long-term collaboration with ABN AMRO’s Sustainable Impact Fund — together we will help accelerate sustainable system transformation within the energy and real estate sectors both in the Netherlands and internationally.”

This investment will help Spectral to accelerate the development of its two software solutions: 

BRIGHTER helps companies to optimize their buildings and portfolios. It is a comprehensive real estate platform that facilitates portfolio-wide data analytics, ESG reporting, and building optimization. BRIGHTER enables real estate owners, investors, and managers to transform their assets into highly energy-efficient, comfortable, and sustainable buildings.

The second product is used for energy assets like solar parks, batteries, and wind farms. STELLAR integrates and automates control of energy assets and trading operations, enabling clients to maximize the value of their portfolios. STELLAR’s vertically integrated products empower energy utilities and asset owners to optimize behind-the-meter assets, virtual power plants, and multi-commodity smart grids.

“If you’re pioneering like Spectral is, it takes a lot of time to actually get from zero to one, to get one product ready,” Westra said. 

After eight years, Spectral has built a solid foundation and is ready to scale. Spectral will also use the investment to build out its commercial team and company support services. 

Previous milestones include the implementation of the first-of-its-kind grid congestion
management solution at Schiphol Trade Park, becoming the Dutch market leader in energy storage control, and successfully helping real estate investors and owners like Bouwinvest, Merin, and NSI manage their ESG data and optimize their portfolios.

Focused on the Netherlands so far, to maximize its impact Spectral will also start preparing for new international markets. 

Focusing on the vertical value chain — physical assets, clouds, and trading — makes Spectral stand out in the market. 

“That holistic approach means end-to-end, one-stop-shop solutions, and that’s exactly what the energy transition needs,” Westra said. “The market is scattered with many service providers. We’ve got it covered. For everything that needs to happen in the local, physical asset world, we can connect it to our cloud, we can steer and optimize. And we can connect with your trader to make sure that there’s optimal return on investment and index optimization.”

Metabolic and Spectral worked together on Schoonschip, a floating neighborhood in Amsterdam, one of the most sustainable communities in the Netherlands.

Such an ambitious, systemic approach is precisely the approach that Metabolic and our Ventures arm aim to instill in any spin-offs or new ventures. By tackling the highest leverage points, we can create the social, environmental, and economic transformations necessary for a fair and sustainable society. 

“We are incredibly proud of Spectral and particularly the team,” said Chris Monaghan, founding partner of Metabolic and director of its Ventures arm. “For Metabolic, Spectral is a great example of the grit needed to build transformative solutions and of the ventures we aim to continue to spin-out in order to address systemic challenges.”

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