Making a splash on the German solar mafia scene, we’ve got a new horse in the race with Hamburg-based 1Komma5°. The name, as you might have guessed refers to the global goal of keeping the rising temperature of the earth below 1.5°, and the firm is aiming to do so much in the same way as their competitors, by removing the hassle of getting photovoltaic systems up and running on residential properties.
Again, like competitors Zolar, who recently received the nod of approval from Ecosia, Sunhero, and Enpal, 1Komma5° offers customers a solar panel system installed by professional technicians and used to reduce homeowners’ reliance on the existing energy grid.
“The core idea of 1KOMMA5° is that every person – even without policy changes – can make their home carbon-neutral and actually save money in the process. With Porsche’s support, we want to become the backbone of the decentralized and renewable energy transition.” - Philipp Schröder, 1KOMMA5° co-founder and CEO
Now if you’re anything like me, you might be wondering what’s up with all these solar panel players popping up like daisies and where they’re all coming from.
At least in the case of 1Komma5°, a company founded only last year, and prior to this raise, attracting the likes of Porsche Ventures to the cap table in a seed round last December, it’s an aggregator game. Much like the fulfilled by Amazon e-commerce players we’ve seen explode on the scene in as many recent months, it would appear that there’s now a force at work doing much the same with photovoltaic systems.
As reported by Handelsblatt, 1Komma5°’s operating model is to aggregate independent providers and bundle them together. In so much, these firms relinquish ownership, but then receive a share in the mothership, and if all goes according to plan, see the work orders shoot through the roof.
The firm has already acquired eight companies in this manner and has its sites on 72 additional purchases within the next eight years. Presumably, a portion of the new €200 million has been earmarked to support this M&A activity.
More than money
As we're already seeing with some of the FBA players, the game of aggregating isn't enough alone. So where's the secret sauce? What draws Porsche, eCapital, BTOV Ventures, Eurazeo, Blue Elephant Ventures, and the family offices of both the Haniel family and Schürfeld family to the now €300 million 1Komma5° table?
Time and time again, a vast majority of investors will tell you that one of the biggest pulls for them may not be the product or the business model itself, as these are variables that can iterate should things not go according to plan, but rather, it's the team behind the pivot that they're willing to place their bets on. In the case of 1Komma5°, co-founder Philipp Schröder is that horse.
While Schröder's background includes a number of solar energy activities, it was his 2013 appointment by Twitter's newest board member, Elon Musk to oversee Tesla's operations in Germany and Austria that catapulted Schröder into the public eye.
On the investment, btov partner and CEO Florian Schweitzer commented, "There's no greater challenge of our present-day than getting renewable energy into more households and solving the last mile problem, and there's no company better placed to accomplish this than Philipp Schröder and his team at 1komma5. They have the right approach to making renewable energy accessible in a decentralized way and at scale."