For much of Europe, energy has dominated countless headlines in 2022 and has precipitated the arrival of an economic recession.
With the economic backdrop, it's no surprise to see energy tech companies raising funding for products that help out consumers, many of whom yearn for a better deal having been whacked with monumental tariff increases.
Before the year's out there's every likelihood of a few more consumer-led energy startups putting their e-pens to term sheets.
Among these companies is Berlin-based smart energy supplier Ostrom, which is today announcing a €9.3 million series A round, bringing its lifetime total to almost €14 million.
Founders Matthias Martensen and Karl Villanueva took on some growth-stage cash to expand their core product into more consumer energy fields, building up its compatibility with smart energy billing, for instance, as well as including real-time dynamic price tariffs, EV charging and heat pump optimisation.
Getting any headway in Europe's highly decentralised market for energy provision is certainly an achievement. Ostrom says German consumers have more than 400 energy suppliers to choose from, and it's claiming it has made the top 10% already.
Chief to its pitch is the "electricity-at-cost" model which company officials say allows Ostrom to on-board customers for a flat monthly fee.
That incentive is borne out by the use of smart energy management technologies, that in turn encourage consumers to use energy more frugally (keeping their monthly bills as low as possible), and at the same time produces transparent insights into the sustainability agenda, through real-time feedback on how much energy resource has been expended and from what sources.
Ostrom got underway in May 2021 and says it's continuing to register month-on-month growth, some 18 months later.
The startup's series A growth ladder will bring in new hires aimed at a doubling in headcount by 2024-end, with product and tech specialists expected to account for much of the new joiners.
Ostrom's Karl Villaneuva commented: "We are seeing how our business model, our app, all our in-house automations and the platform built by our amazing team provide the foundation to help our customers save more energy.
"While others still think like old-school utilities, we have always thought of Ostrom as an experience. So far, we have created a brand that our customers truly love and trust. We have a ton of ideas on our roadmap and we can’t wait to roll these out to our users!”
Ostrom's series A equity subscription was backed by some of its existing institutional investors, like 468 Capital, J12 Ventures and Übermorgen Ventures, along with new additions to its angel crowd: Revent partner Henrik Grosse Hokamp and serial investor Jonathan Teklu.