Berlin-based solar startup Enpal is today announcing a €215m Series D, in a round led by US investor TPG Rise Climate with participation from early Tesla backer Westly Group. It values the six-year-old startup at €2.2bn.
Enpal rents out rooftop photovoltaic (a fancy way of saying solar electricity) panels as a subscription, helping consumers avoid hefty installation fees, and has its sights set on European expansion in 2023.
Solar panels as a subscription
Enpal rents out its solar energy systems — including solar panels, energy storage and electric vehicle (EV) chargers — to private homeowners. It also provides a care and maintenance service. There’s no upfront cost, but customers do have to commit to a 20-year subscription before they're given the option of buying their panels outright for €1.
It’s a business model that’s seen impressive growth among consumers in Germany over the last year — currently the only market it’s active in. Enpal was recently ranked as the fastest-growing energy company in Europe by the FT.
In 12 months, Enpal’s customer numbers have tripled to 30k, its revenues have quadrupled to €400m and it says it's hit profitability.
The company plans to expand into other European markets this year — although it’s tight-lipped about exactly which ones they’ll be.
Who’s invested in Enpal?
The round follows a busy 2022 for the German unicorn — it raised €925m in debt across two rounds from a number of backers including BlackRock. The new €215m Series D is the largest equity round Enpal has raised so far, taking its total funding to €491m, according to Dealroom.
Alongside TPG Rise Climate and Westly Group, London-based Activate Capital joined the startup as a new investor. Existing investors such as HV Capital, SoftBank Vision Fund II and Princeville Climate Tech also participated in the round.
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What’s the solar market like?
The raise comes as rising energy prices push more consumers towards cost-effective renewable alternatives and investors are beginning to clock on to the opportunity. Despite a 24% drop in funding across European tech in 2022, climate tech startups brought in a record $14.4bn last year.
Zolar, another German rooftop solar panel startup, raised €100m in May 2022 and there’s major investor interest in startups focused on electric vehicles, too. In 2022 sustainable battery company Northvolt raised €1.1bn in Europe’s biggest round of the year, and earlier this month Norwegian EV infrastructure startup Wattif raised €50m.