Solar power is witnessing widespread and rapid adoption across Europe and is transforming how and where we produce electricity. The shift towards reliable, clean, and affordable electricity in Europe is evident, thanks to the rapid proliferation of solar panels mounted on the roofs of businesses and homes.
SunRoof, a Swedish startup developing 2-in-1 solar roofs and façades, is doing its part to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy sources globally.
Recently, the Stockholm-based startup raised €4.5M funding in the Seed extension round, led by Inovo Venture Partners, along with SMOK Ventures. Out of which, €2M of which came in the form of convertible notes. SunRoof believes that it is currently on track to reach a €100m valuation by the end of 2021.
Other investors including, LT Capital, EIT InnoEnergy, FD Growth Capital, and KnowledgeHub, also participated in the round. To date, SunRoof has raised €6.5M in funding.
“Renewable energies are fast becoming a standard on a global scale but the transition isn’t going fast enough for our, or the wider health of the planet’s, liking,” says SunRoof CEO Lech Kaniuk. “SunRoof was founded to make the move to renewable energy not only easy but highly cost-effective without ever having to sacrifice on features or design. We’ve already grown more than 500 per cent year-on-year and will use the latest funding to double down on growth. All while further developing our end-to-end solar energy service that will see SunRoof become Europe’s largest energy marketplace and virtual power plant.”
The funding will be used to scale further into new and existing regions – including Sweden, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and into the US via pilot projects.
The Swedish startup will also use the funding to develop its energy trading and management system. Also, the company is now looking to hire an additional 100+ people in 2021 alone.
Builds 2-in-1 solar roofs and innovative façades
Founded by Karol Kaniuk, Lech Kaniuk, Marek Zmyslowski, and Rafal Plutecki in 2013, SunRoof builds 2-in-1 solar roofs and innovative façades that generate electricity without having to install traditional photovoltaic modules.
These facades consist of monocrystalline solar cells sandwiched between two sheets of glass. Notably, SunRoof’s modern, glass tiles measure 1.7 sq metres.
Once installed, homeowners can monitor, and manage their energy production and consumption via SunRoof’s energy app.
Built on Redlogger
Building on the technology it acquired – Redlogger, in 2020, SunRoof wants to use its vast network of solar homes to create a virtual power plant.
Redlogger (Renewable Energy Data Logger) is a system and an application which logs the amount of green energy generated and consumed.
It currently reports these logs to the Swedish Energy Agency, enabling generators to receive compensation for the surplus provided to the grid.
The Swedish firm says it will allow homeowners to sell surplus energy back to the grid, to other customers, and to companies interested in renewable energy.
European competitor to Tesla Energy
The SunRoof’s team – which also includes co-founder of Jumia Travel and HotelOnline.co, Marek Zmysłowski, former Google executive, Rafal Plutecki, and former Tesla Channel Sales Manager, Robert Bruchner – aims to put the firm on track to scale ten-fold by the end of the year.
The Swedish company wants to rival and outperform Tesla’s Autobidder platform in the US.
Like Redlogger, Autobidder is a trading platform that allows customers, operators, and regulators to generate revenue from power and energy services.
“However, while Tesla Energy has built a closed ecosystem, akin to how Apple operates, SunRoof prides itself on its partnerships. Inspired by the Microsoft way of working, SunRoof leans on experts in their respective fields to provide the very best services, rather than attempting to build and keep everything in-house,” says the release.
Working with governments
The company is working with the EU’s European Green Deal, which seeks to make Europe climate-neutral and completely eliminate emissions by 2050.
Also, SunRoof is working with the Polish government as part of the recently announced National Recovery Plan (KPO) to look into ways green and renewable energy sources can be developed and used as part of this program.
First to accept Bitcoin as payment method
In line with the trend, SunRoof, last month has announced that it accepts Bitcoin as a payment method. It’s worth noting that SunRoof is the first solar roof manufacturer in the world to do so.
The company wants to offer more flexible payment options to increase the accessibility of solar roofs and virtual power stations.
“If our customers are currently paying for their roofs with Swedish kronor, Polish zlotys, or Euros, then why should they not be able to pay with Bitcoin?,” says Lech Kaniuk.