French solartech startup Beem has raised €20 million in a Series A funding round (€7 million + €13 million, see below) that will see the company accelerate operations. In contrast to the number of solartech startups we’ve seen blossom across Europe in as many months, those that require a professional installation, Beem is offering consumers a DIY solar panel solution.
Beem’s €20 million Series A, which was reported in part at €7 million at the end of 2021 via Bpifrance, Alter Equity, 360 Capital, David Sloo, and BNP Paribas Développement, now welcomes an additional investment from Cathay Innovation via its C.Entrepreneur fund.
According to a survey conducted by Beem and Opinion Way in March of this year, 74% of French people want to produce their own energy at home. So why not give the masses what they want - the ability to harvest solar at home?
Offering a DIY solution, Beem’s Beem Kit is a connected solar offering that produces 420 watts and sells for €710. According to the company’s website, owners can save up to €250 a year, €140 off their energy bill, and €110 in savings via the “eco-gestures of the Beem Energy application”.
Ok, €250 a year at €710, in just under three years the thing has paid for itself, right? Well, yes, it has, but what exactly has it done?
The average American household consumes 29,130 watts (W) per day, or 29kWh. Granted, American households might not be the greatest length of measure here, so let’s kick that number down to half, just for fun. If a household were to consume 14,500 watts (W) per day, or 14.5 kWh, they would need roughly 30 Beem panels to go 100% solar. That’s €21,300. And this is nothing to say of what to do with excess production and/or storing energy, literally, for a rainy day.
This is not to say that Beem is aiming to help consumers go completely off-grid, but when weighing in on a solar panel that outputs a mere 420 watts, this is clearly aimed at supplementing existing solutions, and I can only believe the Beem and its investors have much larger and longer-term aspirations.
"Beem embodies the new generation of smart, sustainable energy solutions. Alongside Beem's teams, we want to make a positive contribution to transforming and optimising the way energy is produced and consumed. Together, we plan to have a real impact by shaping a future where energy is used more intelligently, more efficiently and more respectfully for the environment, while enabling users to make significant savings," complained Cathay Innovation’s Managing Partner Jacky Abitbol.