Ubiquity Founder: Rohan Puri, CEO of Stable (SaaS for EV charging stations)
Meet Rohan Puri, CEO and co-founder of Stable, an ML-based SaaS platform for high-performing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, backed by Ubiquity Ventures.
Can you sum up what Stable does in one sentence?
Stable builds ML-based SaaS for predicting & improving the ROI of EV charging stations.
Tell us more about Stable’s product.
Stable brings predictive tools and analytics to companies deploying and selling EV charging stations. The tool is able to predict both how many and when EV charging sessions are likely to occur at your site. It's able to show you how that might change throughout a given year and even a given day. This is critical to determine because the price of electricity can vary 3-5x throughout the day, so knowing when drivers are likely to show up is an important component of determining ROI.
Speaking of ROI, Stable's engine can also generate an energy load curve and forecast that energy usage up to 10 years for a given site. The result is an energy plot that can be directly fed into a utility tariff to calculate expected energy costs at the site.
Finally, if you're curious why a particular site is a good one, we expose the machine learning weights that the model has deemed most important for evaluating a site. This way you know what makes your site a good or bad performer.
What is the story behind the founding of Stable?
Stable co-founder/CTO Jamie and I originally met in a research group at MIT Media Lab working on different types of sensing and machine learning problems. At the time, OEMs/carmakers were starting to put sensors all over their cars and raising billions in funding. We were very close to that industry and were fascinated by this sudden change (electric, connected, autonomous, shared) to transportation - really the first in 100 years - and how that was going to reshape our economy.
We started to realize over time that almost no one was thinking about the charging side of the business and how much infrastructure was going to be needed to support all of these vehicles. After digging in, we realized that the EV infrastructure companies were struggling to turn a profit, and most of it was due to the lack of data needed to make their siting decisions. We believe it's fundamentally critical that both sides of the market be economically sustainable (vehicles and chargers), and Stable is here to help make sure charging infrastructure is being deployed where it's needed most.
When did you first get into this area of EV charging and infrastructure?
When we started Stable, we were looking at the hardware side of charging - automating how a vehicle got plugged in. We soon realized that the hardware was a very small part of a very big problem: where did all of this charging hardware need to go? Utilization of most charging stations across the country was low, and charging networks, utilities, and infrastructure developers were fearful of deploying in areas where they wouldn't be used. That's what brought us to our current product.
We think of nerds as people who are obsessed with something (see our blog post on the subject). What are you nerdy about or obsessed with?
I have sleep apnea, so I am obsessed with doing everything I can to optimize my sleeping conditions to ensure I get a good night's rest. Routine sleeping hours, automated blinds, white noise machines, radar monitoring of my breathing rate, trialing sleep apnea machines. You name it, I've probably tried it and automated how it works in my bedroom.
Sleep apnea is a silent killer - most don't realize they even have it. In the past, I spent a lot of time helping teach engineers in India how to diagnose and treat sleep apnea. Check out this diagnostic device we built + paper on how it works:
What’s your advice to budding technical founders who haven’t yet taken the leap to launch their new company?
It can feel obvious to hear this (and I felt this way when I heard it too), but technical founders can fall into the trap of building a solution in search of a problem. Start from the problem, the market, and build the smallest possible version of that solution before you build a "product" and a "startup". When you solve the problem in the right way, the traction comes to you: paying customers, growth, all the forces that push you into becoming a company. Don't build a product or company, just focus on solving a problem.
Are you a founder in the smart hardware or machine learning sector? Let’s talk!
Ubiquity Ventures — led by Sunil Nagaraj — is a seed-stage venture capital firm focusing on early-stage investments in software beyond the screen, primarily smart hardware and machine intelligence applications.