Amsterdam-based Sympower, a company that partners with industry players to shape a net-zero future, has raised €5.2M in its Series B round of funding. The round saw investment from Kees Koolen, an early investor.
Besides, the round also saw participation from an early investor and international expansion advisor of Uber, and existing investors including Rubio Impact Ventures, PDENH, Enfuro Ventures, and Casper Peeters.
The ‘Kool’ quotient
Kees Koolen is a Dutch businessman and investor. He was the COO, CEO, and chairman of Booking.com from 2002-2014. Booking.com was acquired in 2005 by a US-based travel booking company called Priceline Group – later changed its name to Booking Holdings Inc. in 2018.
He was an early Uber investor and helped Uber roll out internationally. Moreover, he was a founding partner at EQT Ventures, and now he is active in driving the transition towards clean energy with his clean energy conglomerate Koolen Industries.
Koolen has been an active board member in Holidu since 2016, both during his time as a partner at EQT Ventures and later in his role as advisor to EQT Ventures.
Explaining his decision to invest in Sympower, Kees Koolen says, “The energy sector will undergo huge disruption in the coming years, driven by both the climate emergency and the inefficiencies in the current system. The software will be at the centre of these changes, just as it was in other sectors such as travel.”
Back in 2019, the owner of clean energy conglomerate, Koolen Industries made a multi-million investment in a Dutch electricity storage company Elestor BV.
Powering flexibility in Europe
According to the company, flexibility is essential for the energy transition. It helps maintain a stable electricity system by balancing supply and demand of increasingly unstable supply from solar and wind sources as well as demand from e-mobility and electric heating.
This is where Sympower steps in. The company’s software solution helps by switching on and off together large numbers of electric heating, air conditioning, and hot water appliances for demand management. Their smart controller learns user preferences and makes sure the needs of the household are met in an optimal way.
Sympower’s software solution can manage a wide range of electrical assets and processes, such as steel smelting, paper production, electric vehicles, and HVAC systems, and utilise them to support the electricity system.
The company was founded in 2015 by Simon Bushell, with the mission to enable the transition to a fully renewable energy system.
It is currently active in Finland, Sweden, and the Netherlands, counting transmission system operators Fingrid, Svenska Kraftnät, and TenneT as current customers. It also partners with leading European energy company Vattenfall in Sweden.
Simon Bushell says, “Last year saw a real boom in renewables and a stronger regulatory push from the European Union, meaning now is the perfect time to increase our capabilities and European reach. Flexibility is vital for the energy transition and will play a crucial role in a fully renewable energy system that forms the basis of a sustainable world. We’re delighted to welcome Kees and his team at Koolen Industries and look forward to drawing on his experience of quickly and successfully scaling companies.”
Use of the capital
The raised funds will help the company to fulfil the demand for clean energy in the European markets, and to provide flexibility solutions for high-renewable energy systems.
The company will look to increase its presence in the countries where it is already playing an active role in shaping resilient electricity systems. As one of the largest independent flexibility providers, Sympower can partner with any industry, grid operator, or utility.
At this pivotal point in the energy transition, Sympower’s rapid growth will be further accelerated by the new funding. Kees will support the company’s internationalisation, drawing upon his vast experience, including driving Uber’s fast international expansion.