All electric, everywhere, all the time; it is one of many climate mantras. However, induction cooktops consume a lot of power – they can draw 40 amps at 240 volts. This is the same as a Level 2 home EV charger. Needless to say, many older homes aren’t wired to plug a Tesla into your kitchen, which means upgrading to an induction cooker could be expensive. Pulse to the rescue – the company’s cookers include a battery solution, meaning it doesn’t draw the full 40 amps when running, and you could find yourself cooking on induction without having to upgrade your panel. Clever!
“I had been thinking about how to supercharge home appliances for a while and the deeper I dug into the space, the clearer it became that there was a larger story bringing together whole house electrification and a storage of additional energy in alignment with new policy tailwinds and distributed energy resource incentives,” said Impulse CEO Sam D’Amico. “Battery integration not only unlocks truly impressive performance improvements, but removes also many common hurdles related to power or panel limitations with installing induction cookers while adding energy storage to the grid.”
The company today announced its official launch and a $20 million Series A funding round led by Lux Capital, and joined by Fifth Wall, Lachy Groom and Construct Capital. This brings their total funding to $25m (Lux Capital, Construct and Lachy Groom previously led the company’s $5m seed round in 2021).
“There is an undeniable directional arrow of progress towards the electrification of everything, which will enable new devices and applications,” commented Josh Wolfe, co-founder and managing partner of Lux Capital, who led the last round of funding, in an email to TechCrunch. “What Impulse is building is not only meaningful, but also a moral imperative, changing the architecture of our daily lives by reducing our dependence on natural gas and carbon. We are proud to support the team of Impulse and help bring its vision to life.
Originally, the company decided to use batteries to create the perfect electric pizza oven, but as the company explored the market, they realized there were additional opportunities. As the company puts it: What started as a genius idea to make pizza became a mission to reframe the appliance industry.
Impulse realized early on that there was an opportunity to take advantage of all of the incredible tailwinds in the electric vehicle and renewable energy sector (including the political tailwinds of the Cut Inflation Act) to launch compelling products. The company identified induction cooking as something that already had quite a compelling history and found fundamental ways to dramatically improve cooking using induction technology.
“We are very aware of the difficulty of building a hardware business, especially given the current economic climate. We are convinced that this [round of financing] gets us through the major checkpoints needed to ship our first hardware product, to the level where we can take orders from paying customers,” says D’Amico. “This paves the way for us to launch pre-orders next year with a credible and realistic delivery date that does not exceed expectations for high-end appliances.”
The company is positioning itself squarely in the challenge around residential and light industrial decarbonization.
“It’s going to push us in a pretty fundamental direction – ending the use of fossil fuels ‘at the periphery’ means we have to make everything electric,” D’Amico says as he lays out his vision. “Moving storage to the edge instead of fossil fuels allows us to do this without having to rely on extremely difficult changes to the built environment, and without having to massively expand power distribution infrastructure to accommodate to the new peak loads.”
Impulse’s big game is that battery prices are falling, while the act of facility batteries continue to be significant in the built environment. However, many kitchens have 220V connections, and this is where Impulse sees an opportunity.
“A key realization is that the places where we install appliances are usually wired for electricity and often for 220V connections in newer homes,” D’Amico comments. “At a minimum, this means we can electrify this old gas appliance, and move forward into new properties, it also means the storage can be used for the home as well.”