New funding to help scale heat-reuse and energy efficiency projects

energy efficiency

French IT infrastructure and HPC company, Qarnot, has closed a €35 million funding round which should allow them to increase the scale of heat-reuse and lower energy consumption at their next generation of data centres.

The financing round was completed with Société Générale, Demeter, ADEME Investissement, Colam Impact and La Banque des Territoires, and comes as Qarnot launches the next phase of its industrial strategy.

“We just made a great step forward with the closing of this new financing round, this is fantastic news,” said Paul Benoit, CEO and co-founder of Qarnot. “Having these new investors on board with us is an insurance to massively deploy our technologies and achieve our industrial scale development. Both energy and cloud consumers are expecting trustworthy and efficient technologies, overall in Europe.

“Leading cloud actors focus their strategy on sourcing renewable energy, mostly intermittent. This is only a partial and unsustainable solution to answer the booming IT infrastructure needs. Our circular approach to reuse energy goes far beyond, both energetically and economically. The new paradigm is based on circularity. Our new large scale business model is convincing: we are shaping the next generation of data centers, rethinking how energy can be better consumed. We are committed to proving that tech performance may be combined with environmental concerns and digital sovereignty.”  

Based on individual units with a modular approach, Qarnot is aiming to install several next generation data centres in France and across Europe, with power ranging from hundreds of kilowatts to a few megawatts. To do so, Qarnot formerly developed the QBx, a computing unit to be compared with a computing rack. The QBx is a patented technology using water cooling to optimise the cooling of embedded and densified servers and high performance processors. QBx allows Qarnot to both heat up water above 60°C and value 95 percent of the waste heat emitted by the servers. 

According to Qarnot, France and Europe are facing unprecedented ecological and energetic crises, which call for concrete solutions. Qarnot wishes to accelerate its development, notably by enlarging its catalogue of IT services, including IT infrastructure, public and private cloud. New services will be offered to customers asking for sovereignty and a more sustainable IT, especially in France, Nordics and Germany.

With new investors, Société Générale, ADEME Investissement & Demeter, as well as former ones La Banque des Territoires for the French State and Colam Impact, this new €35 million fundraising bets on hybrid infrastructures which combine IT performance with waste heat recovery. To answer the increasing demand for a more sustainable IT and for renewable and recovery energies, Qarnot said that it will focus on expanding its teams with 50 new employees in 2023. This new financing round will contribute to Qarnot’s scale up, in order to meet customers’ needs for wider and greener IT infrastructures. 

“Data centers must play their role in the energetic crisis and global warming we are facing, notably with a better control of their energy consumption,” said Karine Mérère, general manager of ADEME Investissement. “Reuse of waste heat from servers is one of the pieces required. We are glad to be taking part in Qarnot’s adventure, and to be contributing to the development of low carbon IT solutions. Qarnot’s QBx boiler is an efficient and simple way to recover waste heat from IT and value it for massive consumers such as swimming pools, heat networks, or industries, here in France and in Europe.”

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