Solar power is gradually on its way to being one of the cheapest technologies for electricity generation worldwide. The EU has also been increasingly adopting photovoltaics, a method to harness solar energy and convert it into electrical energy. Treading the photovoltaic route is Berlin-based greentech startup, Zolar.
The company announced on Thursday that it has raised €100M in its Series C round of funding. This news comes after Zolar raised $23M (then approx €20M) in March, 2022, to help households speed up the transition to renewable energy.
The investors and funding utilisation
The round was led by the US-based investor Energy Impact Partners (EIP) and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund. Existing investors, including Inven Capital, Heartcore Capital, Statkraft Ventures, and Pirate Impact Capital, also participated in the round.
Matthias Dill, Managing Partner Europe at EIP, says, “The demand for green energy will steeply accelerate in the world’s efforts to a net-zero future. Climate tech will drive the modern economy accelerating the transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. Our investment in Zolar is part of our mission to support startups worldwide that are resolutely driving the path to a sustainable future.”
According to Zolar, the funds will help roll out the company’s new digital energy products. The company’s app will also be expanded to include an energy management system and a dynamic electricity tariff.
The app will intelligently control the solar power supply of homeowners while maximising their energy independence and cost savings. For example, Zolar’s app will recognise the best time to charge an e-car and start the charging process, automatically.
Buy or rent a solar system
Founded in 2016 by Alex Melzer and Gregor Loukidis, Zolar offers photovoltaic systems, which homeowners are able to custom plan, compare and order online, at a fixed price. The company’s aim is to install solar panels on every roof in the world, making the use of renewable energy as easy as possible for everyone.
The startup enables households to rent solar power systems for a small monthly fee and gives options to add a solar battery and wall box. By using the Zolar online configurator, homeowners are able to customise the components of their solar energy system according to their needs and receive a personal consultation from one of Zolar’s solar energy experts.
After the leasing period is over, consumers can buy the product and benefit for a further ten years from low-cost green energy.
CEO and founder Alex Melzer, says, “Our goal is to supply ten million households in Europe with either a solar system or renewable energy by 2030. The climate crisis, energy security issues and the rising cost of fossil fuels mean we must move very quickly. By offering a fully digital experience and making it as easy as possible to get started and use solar energy, we help people go green, become energy independent and save costs.”
“There are 16 million roofs on single and two-family homes in Germany. More than 14 million of them are still without solar systems. Putting solar panels on these houses will drive Germany’s independence from coal, gas and oil,” adds Melzer.
Zolar reports that a family of four can save about four tons of CO2 per year with a solar system. This is equivalent to six return flights from London to Lisbon or 19,000 kilometres of driving in a petrol-driven car. Tailored products are also available for consumers who want to buy their solar systems outright.
Enquiries to Zolar have quadrupled this year following rising energy prices. To meet consumers’ demand for solar energy, the Berlin-based startup will substantially expand its Craftship Partner Network of 500 local craft businesses to 3000 by 2025 to increase installation capacity for solar energy.
Besides, the company will also open its own training centre this year to tackle the renewable sector’s skills gap and train workers in a qualified fast-track process for the energy turnaround.