Finally enabling apartments and renters to join the energy transition
Plug-in photovoltaic (PV) systems are booming. However, so far consumers have lacked convenient options to store excess PV energy and thus make optimal use of plug-in PV systems. With SolMate, Austrian start-up EET provides the simplest solution on the market today and has established itself as the leader in the new segment of smart plug-in home battery systems. Now, international investors back the company with a 6.5 million euros investment. EET will use the capital to further execute its expansion strategy: In addition to Germany, France and Italy, the fast-growing company is setting its sights on Southern and Central Europe.
Whether as a contribution against climate change, as a precautionary measure for blackouts, or to save money in times of ever-rising electricity costs: With SolMate, EET offers a smart and easy PV + storage solution for all customer groups, and the first smart battery system suitable for renters of apartments and houses. Founded in 2017, EET is a pioneer in the plug-in PV and battery industry. “As the cost of electricity and concerns about climate change keep increasing, our mission as a company is to give everyone the opportunity to produce and use their own green electricity at home,” emphasizes Christoph Grimmer, co-founder and CEO of EET.
Product simplicity as a success factor
EET attributes its success to the simplicity of the system: a single cable connects photovoltaic panels (up to 2000 watt peak) to the storage unit. The storage unit in turn is simply plugged into a regular wall socket (providing power at max. 800 watts). The electricity generated is stored and fed into the household’s network depending on actual electricity demand. Herein lies the key differentiator of SolMate. EET’s patent-protected measurement technology “NetDetection” detects how much electricity is currently being consumed and feeds the appropriate amount into the household. When more electricity is produced than needed, SolMate stores the surplus energy for later. With this unique ability to optimize the self-consumption of PV power, SolMate can save up to 50 percent of an average flat’s electricity bill. The system can also be operated in island mode, supplying the home with electricity in case of a blackout.
“EET has impressed us with its unique technology, ease of use and fast international growth – and by releasing a superior and compelling product that hits the market just at the right time. EET’s success illustrates that putting green technologies into consumer’s hands not only makes ecological sense, but also meets an ever-increasing customer demand,” explains Steffen Funck, Managing Director at Statkraft Ventures, the Venture Capital firm leading the investment round in EET.
Additional capital for further international expansion
As part of this funding round three internationally experienced investors join the company: Statkraft Ventures, an investment firm backed by Norway’s Statkraft, Europe’s largest producer of renewable energy, Junction Growth Investors from Belgium, and Germany’s Green Fortress Group. “By working with these internationally renowned investors, EET has found ideal partners for our growth journey, not only providing financial support, but also access to valuable know-how, networks and resources. These partnerships open new doors and enable us to further develop our innovative technologies, expand the market and tap into new target groups,” says Grimmer.
Vincent Gregoir, Co-founder and Principal at sustainable investment fund Junction (Art.9, SFDR): “We are delighted to have been invited by a strong and complementary consortium where we will contribute based on our experience in energy storage, flexibility markets, B2C business models and cross border expansion. The EET investment falls in our sweet spot, were we help scale companies with proven technology having illustrated successful commercial traction in their home market. Junction is driven to help EET grow and make energy storage and flexibility accessible for renters, in turn accelerating our contribution to a sustainable energy transition.”
Christoph Ostermann of Green Fortress Group, the co-founder and former CEO of residential smart energy storage pioneer “sonnen GmbH”, which was acquired by Shell New Energies in 2019, completes the trio of new investors. The new investors join a group of Angel investors that includes Klaus Fronius, of solar technology heavyweight “Fronius International GmbH”, who previously invested in EET in 2017.
Know-how, financial strength, and a motivated team
Following the capital increase, the majority of shares remains with the founders Christoph Grimmer, Stephan Weinberger and Florian Gebetsroither. The fresh capital will be used for further international expansion: “There is great potential in Germany, France and Italy, where we are already selling our products. At the same time, we will now enter new markets such as Spain, Portugal and Poland, where the demand is equally high” In addition to its proprietary technology, EET sees its employees as one of the key success factors: “As founders, we are extremely proud of our very capable and highly motivated team. Without their dedication to our company and mission, EET’s rapid growth would not have been possible,” concludes Christoph Grimmer. Currently, the company has around 70 employees with another 25 new positions being advertised: “By the end of the year, we will grow to more than 100 employees. We look forward to meeting ambitious candidates that support our mission and want to join EET as we put PV and storage into every consumer’s hands,” says Grimmer.
EET is the global innovation leader in the field of Plug&Play storage systems. The Graz-based company EET (Efficient Energy Technology GmbH) was founded in May 2017 with the idea of making renewable energies simple, safe, and reliable for everyone. The headquarters in Herrgottwiesgasse has since expanded to include another location on Paula-Wallisch-Straße, and the once small team now consists of nearly 70 people.
About Statkraft Ventures:
Statkraft Ventures is a leading venture capital investor focused on the energy transition and climate tech. We partner with exceptional founders in early- and growth-stage start-ups in Europe and North America. With offices in Germany and Norway and backed by Statkraft, Europe’s largest producer of renewable energy, Statkraft Ventures provides capital and expertise to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable future.
Junction Growth Investors is a long-term, sustainable investment fund (art 9, SFDR) focussed on non-listed European SMEs and scale-ups that play a crucial role in the energy transition. We’re not about early stage and we’re not about financial engineering.
We believe in scaling great things that have already been invented and invest with a sense of urgency about climate change. We believe we need to speed things up. We need to transition, not just set goals. Junction is a combination of award-winning entrepreneurs, CEOs and investors with a track-record in successful energy (-tech) businesses, incl. Lampiris, REstore, sonnen, tiko and tado°.
About Green Fortress:
Green Fortress is a privately held entrepreneurial investment holding founded by Christoph Ostermann and Christoph Lienert focused on climate tech and sustainability founders who da
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