From pv journal 06/23
Rable, a Dutch developer of pre-mounted PV arrays for flat rooftops, raised €2.5 million ($2.72 million) in Could from Amsterdam-based enterprise capital (VC) fund Rubio Affect Ventures and Energietransitiefonds, a Rotterdam regional public fund.
That follows €28.5 million in progress capital raised by Sweden’s Sunroof. The most important funding within the first quarter was the €215 million Sequence D money raised by Berlin-based photo voltaic leasing firm Enpal, in accordance with consultancy Cleantech for Europe.
All of those corporations serve the rising residential and, in some circumstances, industrial photo voltaic segments. Notable latest investments are grouped by firm sort and listed within the tables under.
Just lately funded set up innovators
|Firm||ESTABLISHED||Last Spherical||quantity (€ million)|
|1 Comma 5°||2021||2022||200|
**Personal placement of listed firm. Sources: Apricum, Cleantech for Europe, firm web sites, Crunchbase, Dealroom, pv journal
Just lately funded BIPV and rooftop innovators
|Firm||ESTABLISHED||Final spherical||quantity (€ million)||Notes|
|dhp know-how||2015||Jan. ’22||1.73||Retractable PV for industrial and industrial (C&I) shoppers|
|Exasun||2012||September ’22||9||Roof-integrated BIPV for the residential and C&I market|
|Past Simple Photo voltaic||2021||2022||Pre-seed||Vertical PV for residential and C&I|
|Saddle||2019||Could ’23||2.5||Pre-mounted PV for industrial and C&I|
|Roof.Photo voltaic||2016||March ’23||6.45||Roof built-in BIPV for residential and C&I|
|Solarge||2018||March ’22||4||Gentle residential and C&I|
|Solarix||2016||February ’23||0.96||Colourful frameless modules (BIPV)|
|SunRoof||2013||Jan. ’23||28.5||Roof built-in BIPV for residential and C&I markets|
Sources: Apricum, Cleantech for Europe, firm web sites, Crunchbase, Dealroom, pv journal
Will investor curiosity stay buoyant? “My feeling is that the vitality disaster has led to a small mini-boom of startups that meet the necessity to grasp the price of family vitality by rising the ratio of self-consumption,” mentioned Jenny Chase, a photo voltaic analyst on the enterprise intelligence firm BloombergNEF. “However what occurs when excessive costs come down? Differentiation is tough. Is there a long-term worth proposition regardless of vitality costs? Some startups are prone to be acquired by utilities [seeking] to keep away from creating software program in home.”
Jan Michael Hess, CEO of the startup Ecosummit says that “high-quality corporations that produce outcomes can discover new main buyers in rounds.” Up rounds are fundraising workouts carried out by corporations which have grown in worth since their earlier financing spherical. Referring to the German photo voltaic leasing enterprise backed by Hess in 2020, he says that “Sunvigo was capable of appeal to new lead buyers. [in April] primarily based on this yr’s progress and monetary outcomes.”
Startup competitors for capital is mirrored by investor efforts to purchase inventory in “the most effective corporations,” Hess added.
Julia Padberg, a companion at Amsterdam-based VC agency SET Ventures, famous a “decline in enterprise capital investments this previous yr in areas similar to fintech [financial technology] and blockchain. However the power holds again. Our portfolio corporations and startups in different segments reported file quarters and outcomes. Profitable companies in our portfolio have, in actual fact, raised important rounds this yr and a powerful degree of latest investments have been made.
Bernd Arkenau is the managing companion of Münster-based eCapital Companions, the primary exterior investor in German residential storage supplier Sonnen, which was acquired by oil-major Shell in 2019. ECapital Companions was additionally the lead investor in 1Komma5’s Sequence A fundraising spherical in April 2022 . Arkenau says it makes extra sense to spend money on photo voltaic now than 10 years in the past.
“Electrical energy is costlier,” he mentioned. “Shoppers’ environmental consciousness is larger than ever. They’re investing in electrical autos, PV vitality storage, and warmth pumps.”
“[The 1Komma5 investment] suits our technique to spend money on builders on the lookout for an edge in a excessive progress market and [the company] based by Sonnen alumni,” mentioned Arkenau. “The Sonnen funding helped study constructing tech groups and what to deal with within the photo voltaic markets. It grew from 20 workers, after we invested, to 350 on the time of acquisition and has grown considerably since then.
Sonnen presently employs 1,000 individuals, in accordance with its web site.
First-stage investments have additionally taken place. The 42watt enterprise, a web based platform primarily based in Munich that helps householders planning an vitality transformation, has raised seed funding. “The objective is to cut back complexity for shoppers,” says CEO Jörg Überla. “We’re nonetheless within the early days of what householders can do to optimize vitality use and prices.”
In March, Berlin-based Solytic raised €2 million in a Sequence B funding spherical. Solytic and Berlin neighbor Kwest – a renewable installer software program firm – have complementary options for small and medium-sized installers.
“Installers have distinctive workflows and are attempting to digitize their processes through the use of buyer relationship administration (CRM) software program,” mentioned Kwest CEO Robin Dechant. “Some yoke Asana, Monday[.com]and Excel within the service however that’s tough,” he added, referring to different work administration and challenge administration options.
“We attempt to construct elements which might be extra versatile due to the present buyer wants and the requests from potential clients,” mentioned Dechant.
Rising corporations with lighter, extra elegant, or easier-to-install rooftop PV designs can elevate capital from a mixture of investor varieties. Swiss enterprise dhp know-how – which has developed a retractable photo voltaic “roof” well-liked at wastewater remedy amenities – raised capital final yr by means of crowdfunding and a mortgage from the government-backed Swiss Know-how Fund.
“Monetary progress will not be an issue,” mentioned dhp co-founder and managing director Gian Andri Diem. “We’ve got delivered 16 Swiss and German initiatives since our third yr of operation, with 35 extra in planning. However I can say that discovering expert expertise is a problem. We’ve got 29 workers and now’s recruiting.
Lech Kaniuk, CEO and co-founder of Sunroof, which has put in 1,000 roofs in Sweden, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, and Poland, raised capital from progress and affect buyers. “We see sturdy progress forward,” he mentioned, referring to EU coverage packages. “The Inexperienced Deal and RePowerEU initiatives, together with Europe’s long-term objective of vitality independence, make it strategically vital to have photo voltaic roofs.”
Persevering with the circulation of capital to new corporations in Europe additionally requires divestments, with “exits,” usually by means of preliminary public choices (IPOs) or takeovers. “IPOs can work,” says BloombergNEF’s Chase. “Each Power Photo voltaic Tech and Otovo had been cited however I believe company acquisition is the extra seemingly route for startups that show worth.” Otovo went public in early 2021 on the Euronext Progress Oslo bourse and in January it was transferred to the Oslo Børs, additionally a part of the Euronext Group.
Varied innovators have been acquired since 2019 (see desk under). Power Photo voltaic Tech SA went public on the inventory trade in Spain in December. SET Ventures has had a number of renewable energy-related divestments just lately, together with Depsys, a Swiss grid know-how firm; GreenCom Networks, a German digital photo voltaic and storage enterprise acquired by US microinverter and battery producer Enphase Power; and Sonnen. “All of those corporations are opening up the clear vitality transition utilizing new applied sciences,” mentioned Until Stenzel, enterprise companion at SET Ventures. “We’re proud to look at them proceed to achieve new heights.”
From Ecosummit pitch to takeover (2019-23)
|Firm||Acquired it||Date of the deal|
|Set up||Brilliant space/Eneco||2023|
|GreenCom Networks||Enphase Power||2022|
|Ubitricity + Subsequent energy crops||Shell||2021|
|GridX + Envello||E. ON||2021|
|Low Power||Octopus Power||2020|
|Sonnen + Limejump||Shell||2019|
Depsys, based in 2012, was acquired final yr by the Kraken enterprise of UK clear vitality provider Octopus Power Group. “Depsys is an instance of how investing in digital is seven hundred occasions cheaper for utilities than conventional bodily grid reinforcement,” mentioned SET’s Padberg.
“My outlook on the exits is constructive, even in 2023,” mentioned Andreas Schwarzenbrunner, a companion at Speedinvest. “It’s broadly accepted that photo voltaic will likely be vital for future vitality provide. The costs of panels and methods proceed to lower. Many enterprise fashions are born. It’s doable to boost massive rounds for photo voltaic tech if good the basics.The know-how threat will not be what it was 10 years in the past as a result of the module trade settled on silicon PV with gigawatt-scale manufacturing.
Speedinvest has three photo voltaic investments, particularly Skyfri, a startup based to optimize photo voltaic belongings by former executives of Norwegian renewables developer Norsk Photo voltaic; Golden; and Quest. He sees a chance in enterprise to enterprise (B2B) software program and options to handle monetary, operational, and grid- and market-expansion-related issues throughout the photo voltaic vitality spectrum.
A maturing photo voltaic trade marked by a rise in photo voltaic technology capability of all sorts is creating demand for software program, instruments, and options. “The primary technology of photo voltaic corporations in Europe had been panel producers with quite simple enterprise fashions,” Stenzel mentioned. “Now it is extra concerning the providers and software program layer on high of that. It is simpler for a startup to get into the software program aspect of the vitality enterprise.
“There are lots of alternatives for specialised B2B software program corporations to create worth with non-obvious digital options,” mentioned Padberg.
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