Tesseract, a renewable energy company founded by two early Revolut employees, has raised a $78m round led by Balderton and Lakestar. The team says it wants to disrupt the energy market in the way the neobanks shook up the banking sector.
Alan Chang and Charles Orr have been quietly building Tesseract in stealth since March this year. Chang was the third employee at Revolut and was widely considered to be CEO Nik Storonsky’s right-hand man, in his role as chief revenue officer. Orr was strategy lead at the fintech from 2018 to 2020.
Chang, who is just 28 years old, has kept quiet about the details of this new startup since it was incorporated in March while he served his notice.
The two are big names in the startup ecosystem and have managed to bring in an impressive roster of investors. Two of Europe’s VC heavyweights, Balderton and Lakestar, led this, the startup’s first funding round. Accel, Creandum and Lowercarbon Capital also invested, along with angel investors like DST Global’s Tom Stafford, Index’s Martin Mignot and even Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg.
What will Tesseract do?
Chang and Orr’s new startup, Tesseract, plans to buy and build renewable energy assets and then sell the power directly to consumers. The team says it wants to decentralise the right to power and reduce energy bills by cutting out the middleman — most energy companies don’t own the power generation systems themselves.
Instead of customers buying solar panels themselves for their houses, Tesseract’s plan involves allowing people to buy virtual solar panels or wind turbines via an app, which it says could cut bills “by up to 100%”.
“While at Revolut, we saw how ageing incumbents and broken business models held the system back, and how modern technology and an open-minded approach helped consumers worldwide,” Chang says.
“The energy industry plays a fundamental role in people’s lives yet regularly leaves customers dissatisfied. It is ripe for disruption in the same way as the banking sector was.”
The green transition is underway — meet the startups driving it.
Freya Pratty is a reporter at Sifted. She tweets from @FPratty and writes our climate tech newsletter — you can sign up here.
Amy O'Brien is a reporter at Sifted. She tweets from @Amy_EOBrien and writes our fintech newsletter — you can sign up here.