Trellis Energy, formerly a part of the global IT services and business consulting firm Blackstone Technology Group, announced July 27 its launch as a separate corporate entity, wholly owned by Blackstone. The new firm will continue to provide the Trellis natural gas transaction management platform that manages energy transactions and automates critical processes in natural gas production, gathering and delivery. In addition, the company will also absorb Blackstone’s Digital Services practice for the energy sector in order to provide energy companies with software and services in the areas of big data analytics, mobile, cybersecurity and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
With more than 50 employees and offices in San Francisco, Houston, Denver and Washington, D.C., Trellis Energy will continue serve current customers, which include some of the largest natural gas and electric companies in the United States and Canada, such as BP Pipeline, Chevron Pipeline, DTE Energy, Gaz Metro, NextEra Energy, ONE Gas, Pacific Gas & Electric and Tokyo Gas.
Under the leadership of Rakesh Agrawal, the newly appointed CEO and president, Trellis Energy will focus on serving energy companies in the areas of gas, liquids, oil and electric with leading-edge software and services solutions including the company’s natural gas transaction management platform that enables energy companies to keep up with the highly dynamic market and regulatory changes.
“Traditionally, the natural gas industry has relied heavily on manual processes and spreadsheets, even as the adoption of technology has grown, leading to many ad hoc system implementations,” Agrawal said. “With the Trellisplatform, we offer true web-based, secure and completely automated and integrated software modules that manage business processes throughout the natural gas supply chain, in a single-platform. In using a software-as-a-service(SaaS) model, we allow energy companies the flexibility to choose either an on-premise or a hosted solution, based on their size, need and budget. We are very excited about this spin-off as this will allow us to serve our customers better and with additional software and services to further their leadership in their respective markets.”
Trellis spun off from Blackstone to better serve the energy market, which has different needs than some of Blackstone’s other customer bases.
“Blackstone started in 1998 as a service-based company with solutions in financial markets, energy, oil and natural gas and health care, all with custom solutions to fit the needs of our clients,” Agrawal said. “On the energy side, early on we were involved with the development of software solutions for our natural gas customers. We saw that there was a bigger market for this solution, and we worked with our customers and launched the solution for the whole market.
“There’s a global market for the energy service business. However, the energy service business is not the same as the software business. It needs to grow in a different way, so it made sense to spin off to form a separate business to follow that path.”
Trellis is self-funded, but is looking for additional investors. Although natural gas is the company’s biggest component currently, the company is looking to grow into natural gas liquids (NGL), oil and power markets. With a strong customer base in the United States and Canada, Agrawal says Trellis is close to securing additional customers in Mexico.
“The reorganization and spin-off of Trellis Energy as a separate entity reflects Blackstone’s continuous desire to drive the latest innovation in the energy industry, and its commitment to accelerating the future growth of the Trellis platform,” said David Mysona, CEO of Blackstone Technology Group. “Under the Trellis Energy brand, the new organization will be able to take full advantage of energy market opportunities and significant market needs in order to develop and deliver products and services that leverage Trellis Energy’s vast experience in energy and digital services. I am confident that the Trellis Energy team will provide its current and future clients with an exceptional organization that will be a powerful force serving energy companies across the globe.”