Is Elon Musk planning a battery-powered utility company?
Tesla is building a giant battery to connect to the Texas energy grid, according to Bloomberg Green .
A subsidiary of the company called Gambit Energy Storage is constructing a 100-megawatt-plus energy storage facility in Angleton, around 40 miles south of Houston, which could power some 20,000 homes.
The Texas power grid famously nearly failed when the state was hit by storms in February 2021. At the time Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to lambast the energy council in his home state.
But creating the battery facility begs the question of whether Musk’s next venture may be an energy company.
Is Elon Musk planning to start an energy company?
It’s not Musk’s first foray into big batteries. He unveiled Powerwall, a home battery product, in 2015 to great fanfare, and in 2016 Tesla acquired SolarCity (of which Musk was one of the founders) to develop a solar roof.
But the uptake of these residential solutions has been marginal, and it’s possible that Musk sees the key to entering home energy is via the existing grid, as a supplier. His battery solutions have sustainability credentials and are resilient to inconstant power sources such as solar, wind and waves.
Tesla already has batteries connected to a substation in California, which gives peak time assistance to the main grid. A similar system is being developed in the San Francisco Bay Area.
He also understands the business benefits of entering the energy market. On a Tesla earnings call in 2020, Musk said, “I think long-term Tesla Energy will be roughly the same size as Tesla Automotive. The energy business is collectively bigger than the automotive business.”
At a time when renewable energy is being prized by consumers, politicians and corporations, it makes sense to play for the market to store energy from intermittent sources.
Bukalapak raises $1.5bn in record Singapore IPO, say sources
Bukalapak, currently the fourth largest Indonesian ecommerce company, is said to have raised $1.5 billion in the first IPO by an Indonesian tech unicorn.
Three unidentified, but likely reliable, sources told Reuters the order books for Bukalapak’s IPO were covered by multiples, with one source claiming the issue attracted more than $6 billion in demand despite being listed at the top of its indicated price range.
Bukalapak's 50x growth
Bukalapak was looking to raise just $300 million just a few months ago. The figure grew to $800 million before rising to $1.5 billion as investors jockeyed for a piece of the company.
Covid-19 has had a positive impact on many ecommerce operators, and Bukalapak also has strong investment lines via Singapore sovereign investor GIC and Microsoft, among others. The company focuses on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.
Indonesia’s four biggest ecommerce companies
Tokopedia is an Indonesian technology company specializing in e-commerce. It was founded in 2009 by William Tanuwijaya and Leontinus Alpha Edison.
Shopee was first launched in Singapore in 2015, and later expanded its reach to Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, and Colombia.
Lazada is a Singaporean multinational technology company which focuses mainly on e-commerce. Founded by Maximilian Bittner with the backing of Rocket Internet in 2012, it is currently owned by the Alibaba Group after its acquisition in 2016.
Bukalapak is an Indonesian e-commerce company. It was founded in 2010 as an online marketplace to enable small and medium enterprises go online and has expanded to support smaller traditional family owned businesses.