Steve Wozniak, aka the Woz, has moved into the digital asset sector quickly generating headlines. The Apple co-founder is helping to launch Efforce, a startup seeking to “disrupt the energy efficiency market,” that kicked off with a token offering that saw a market cap hit $950 million in 13 minutes – 10x the offering price. A private sale before the listing gave the company an $80 million valuation, according to a note from the company. The WOZX token is now trading at around $2.30 off of its high of around $3.70. There is a one million issuance cap on the tokens.
Efforce is described as the first blockchain-based energy savings platform. In effect, Efforce is securitizing energy savings with a marketplace for the digital asset.
Wozniak commented on the blockchain based startup:
“Energy consumption and CO2 emissions worldwide have grown exponentially, leading to climate change and extreme consequences to our environment. We can improve our energy footprint and lower our energy consumption without changing our habits. We can save the environment simply by making more energy improvements. We created Efforce to be the first decentralized platform that allows everyone to participate and benefit financially from worldwide energy efficiency projects, and create meaningful environmental change.”
Jacopo Visetti, project lead and co-founder of Efforce, said that small companies are struggling and they cannot afford to switch to LED lighting or conserve energy. Enforce allows business owners to register their energy upgrade project on the web and secure funding from investors around the world.
“The companies will then have more available cash to use for other critical projects such as infrastructure or hiring.”
Efforce states that the market for energy efficiency is $250 billion and can double in size by 2025. Currently, investor groups called energy services companies (ESCOs) must have access to large amounts of capital (typically $200,000 minimum) to undertake energy efficiency improvements. They often are unable to turn to traditional banking channels as banks lack the technical expertise to properly assess the return on investment.
The Efforce platform seeks to “democratize the market.” Visetti explained that they have created a business model that allows anyone to participate in the greater good of making the world cleaner and healthier, all by leveraging efficiency for economic growth.
The business model is described as having an ESCO register a project which is validated by Efforce. The project is then developed including evaluating the investment need, calculating the anticipated return, and creating an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) that details the savings and the duration of the returns for the company and investors.
The platform then lists the project for “crowd contribution” where participants may buy into the project using fractional or whole WOZX tokens. Efforce measures energy savings on these projects through smart meters attached to the blockchain. The savings data are loaded to the investor’s profile as an energy credit for use or sale by the investor. Energy credits are distributed in megawatt-hours.
So will it work? That is the question but it has enough capital to get things off the ground beyond the initial speculation affiliated with a high-profile digital asset issuance. Having Woz onboard provides a good bit of exposure to the company.