Listed Adelaide-based tech firm Buddy Platform is expanding the customer base for its smart energy monitors solution into the Central American and Caribbean and markets and it’s partly thanks to Lady Gaga.

The Buddy Ohm was launched earlier this year in Australia after chief executive David McLauchlan decided to come back to Australia and settle in Adelaide, and in the US, where the company has headquarters in Seattle.

The platform uses sensors to monitor energy, gas and water use, sending the data to the cloud in real-time. Data is also displayed on screens within a building.

The technology is provided on a lease basis of US$1500 a month for both the technology and management support.

The company has partnered with mobile operator Digicel to have the product marketed and sold across Digicel’s 26 markets in the Caribbean and Central America.

The tourism industry in particular is a ready customer base, as the cost of energy in the Caribbean nations is much higher than the USA or Australia, and tourism is one of its major economic drivers.

Mr McLauchlan told Lead South Australia that many operators in the region are faced with extremely high bills for water and electricity.

“Working in partnership with Digicel, Buddy Ohm will help these businesses reduce their resource consumption and associated costs, which will have a positive knock-on effect for the region,” Mr McLauchland said.

“The partnership with Digicel will also have a positive impact on our Adelaide based operations and we look forward to growing our engineering and management team to support our business growth.”

The company established its Adelaide office in February last year, following its launch on the Australian Stock Exchange in December 2015.

Its chief executive grew up in the city, before leaving to work in the US, including spending 15 years working for Microsoft in Seattle and acting as an advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Announcing his decision to head back home to open the Australian office, Mr McLauchlan said he was approached by almost every Australian state but chose Adelaide because of the lifestyle, ease of movement and the high standard of engineering talent on offer.

When the company was first founded, Lady Gaga’s investment company AF Square and Microsoft both provided seed funding.

The company’s initial commercial forays revolved around providing scalable data aggregation and management infrastructure that can help users extract more value from city wide sensor and device data, by connecting systems that were “never designed to work together”.