Berlin-founded, Barcelona-headquartered Sunhero has raised €10m to scale its residential solar energy business in Spain — which the company says is one of the fastest-growing markets in Europe.
The round was led by climate tech VC Planet A and consumer-focused firm Vorwerk Ventures, both based in Berlin.
Who else invested?
- Redstone — Multi-sector venture capital firm headquartered in Berlin
- All Iron Ventures — Bilbao-based firm focusing on early-stage startups
- Speedinvest — Vienna-based early-stage firm
What does Sunhero do?
Sunhero provides solar installation and management services to residential consumers, and is looking to tap into a big gap in the Spanish market. Despite being one of Europe’s sunniest countries, it’s estimated that Spain has fewer homes with solar installed than the UK or Germany.
This is partly because of a 2015 policy brought in by the conservative party, Partido Popular, known as the “sun tax”, which taxed people with solar panels who wanted to sell power back into the grid. The law brought solar installation to a near-standstill at a time when other countries were capitalising on cheaper and more efficient photovoltaic (PV) panels.
“Recent policy changes, the growth in EVs and global geopolitical struggles have resulted in rapid increase in customer demand for independent and clean energy in Spain," says Sunhero CEO Christopher Cederskog.
What’s the market like?
Sunhero isn’t the only company to have spotted an opportunity. Other startups that are addressing the solar installation market include Solarpack, Powen and Otovo, while more established players like Holaluz have been ramping up installation as well.
Cederskog tells Sifted that the solar installation market in Spain remains extremely fragmented.
“Most solar installations are done by tiny companies operating in their local communities,” he says.
But Sunhero believes its software and product innovation, combined with its “German operational excellence” can help make it stand out by offering a better service.
The company says that much of the funding will go towards developing its software, as well as broadening its product portfolio to include things like electric vehicle (EV) chargers.
The company will also work on training more solar installers as, due to the early-stage maturity of the residential solar market in the country, the talent pool “is not that large”.
Cederskog says that, while Spain is a good country to build a startup, there are also challenges with finding the right talent, compared with more developed ecosystems like the UK and Germany.
That said, if Sunhero can get it right, sunny Spain presents a big opportunity for anyone offering clean solar energy to household consumers.