Bill Gates and Robert Downey Jr. Takes $80 Million Bet on Electric Motor Company

“Our investors recognize the critical role that technology will play in our fight against climate change. To curb the carbon emissions driving this crisis, we all need to change the way that we use energy."


Turntide Technologies (Turntide), which makes a smart motor system for buildings that can sharply reduce energy consumption, has completed an $80 million funding round.

The funding is backed by Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Robert Downey Jr.’s FootPrint Coalition Ventures, Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Keyframe Capital, Fifth Wall’s Climate Technology Fund and Captain Planet LP.

The company produces the Smart Motor System, which it says is designed around its revolutionary switched reluctance motor (SRM) technology. SRMs have been used for decades in environments that demand 100% dependability.

But recent advances in supporting technologies have permitted Turntide to develop a patented, cloud-connected SRM that can power anything, using a fraction of the energy of the legacy AC induction motors in 98% of the world’s machines.

Today’s motors are inefficient, unintelligent and unreliable. Over 98% of today’s motors rely on technology invented in 1888 by Nikola Tesla.

Electric motors are the single largest consumer of electricity worldwide – costing businesses and the environment. They account for 70% of industrial power consumption and at least 47% of global power consumption. Until now, high-efficiency motors have required expensive permanent magnets to produce the torque needed to operate, often made of rare earth minerals that are environmentally destructive to mine.

Turntide’s Smart Motor System patented hardware architecture and digital DNA changes the way we move things: from fans in HVAC systems that cool or heat our homes and commercial buildings, to the pumps needed to carry water to our taps and refrigerate our food, and agricultural uses including fans creating conditions for animal welfare in dairy barns.

Turntide’s mission is to replace all the motors in the world with its Smart Motor System.

The US-based firm said this with this new funding; it plans to expand its Smart Motor System’s development and production to meet growing demand and extend it into new applications.

It added that the funding would also be used to accelerate deployment and advance Riptide’s development, a cloud-based building automation software platform that Turntide recently agreed to acquire.

Turntide plans to expand further into building automation by improving and extending its Building Operation System (BOS) platform to office buildings, retail locations, schools, and more.

The electric motors powering our world today account for half of the global electricity consumption – more than lighting, heating, and electronics combined. As our climate changes and the economy grows, electric motors’ global demand will continue to rise.

“Our investors recognize the critical role that technology will play in our fight against climate change. To curb the carbon emissions driving this crisis, we all need to change the way that we use energy. That starts with modernizing the technology that is currently powering our world,” said Turntide’s CEO and Chairman, Ryan Morris.

“With the support from our investors, Turntide will increase production of our Smart Motor System and ramp up motor retrofitting to provide cost-effective and energy-efficient motors to businesses around the world.”

The Smart Motor System advances sustainability goals, saves money, and minimizes maintenance calls.

Turntide’s Smart Motor System is the first digital-first motor that is software-driven, intelligent and sustainable.

The Smart Motor System’s digital DNA enables precise and reliable control to effectively use every watt of energy to reduce electricity consumption and achieve optimal efficiency.

The Smart Motor System is proven more reliable with a simplified design for variable speed operation rigour. For example, suppose a building is getting too hot or too cold. In that case, the Smart Motor System can slow the motor’s speed, lowering the output of conditioned air and eliminating excess energy waste and, thus, cost.

Turntide’s technology goes beyond mechanical design, integrating software that allows for IoT control system capabilities and data integration – delivering lasting value over time through proactive maintenance and updates.

Turntide’s Smart Motor Systems are being manufactured, shipped, and installed at scale across the United States, Canada, and the UK, with further international expansion planned this year.

Additionally, Turntide has pilots in the Middle East, Asia, and Mexico.

Last year, Turntide said it is ramping up to deploying thousands of motors per month.

Its Software Motor Systems are currently being used in Five Guys locations, Amazon facilities, and other retailers, grocers, and commercial buildings around the globe.

No design changes necessary; as a “drop-in” solution, the Smart Motor System reduces customer energy consumption – lowering customer cost and environmental impact, like LED lighting retrofits. As seen by retrofitting commercial HVAC motor systems with its Smart Motor System, Turntide’s customer energy savings reach an average of two-thirds.


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