Today French energy transition startup Inicio announced it has raised €1.5 million in Seed funding.
Founded in 2022, the company has developed an algorithm to identify the most suitable land for solar panels, acquire or lease it, assess the risks associated with the project, and make it available to solar power developers.
The algorithm cross-references millions of geospatial data points from open data or produced by its machine learning models and prioritises the most viable sites.
Having identified more than 11,000 hectares of land, the Inicio team helps to develop more than 400 MW of solar farms (ground-mounted photovoltaic, agrivoltaics) in various local contexts.
The land managed by Inicio is made available to local farmers looking for land to develop their farming activities, whether or not the solar farms are built, connecting different use cases.
Further, Inicio's business model promotes the development of renewable, sovereign, and competitive electricity, directly benefiting those living where it is produced.
To accelerate the pace of solar production across Europe, Incio also plans expansion into four new countries in 2023, including Italy and Poland.
According to Thomas Moulia, Co-founder and CEO of Inicio:
"This round of financing is a decisive step in our development, but also a sign of confidence on the part of experienced players in the digital and energy transition sectors.
It reinforces our ambition to become one of the leaders in securing solar land in Europe and to play our part in developing sustainable, sovereign electricity."
To support this European ambition, Inicio has raised €1.5 million from investment funds ISAI, Kima Ventures, and Business Angels. This amount will enable Inicio to begin its international expansion, particularly in Italy and Poland, where its first customers are already present and recruit 40 new staff over 18 months.
The funds raised will also enable the startup to develop projects in conjunction with local stakeholders, and it is preparing to open an office in Toulouse.
Additionally, the company is working to enhance the capabilities of its algorithm and, ultimately, share the results with government departments to promote public support for renewable energy production projects.
François Collet, Partner at ISAI shared:
"We were convinced by the relevance of Inicio's virtuous model and the innovative vision of its co-founders. In its first year of existence, Inicio has proved its ability to meet solar developers' needs while helping preserve agricultural land.
We are therefore delighted to participate in this financing round, enabling the company to roll out its offering even more quickly.”
Lead image: Inicio's founders: Thomas Moulia, Lucas Petigny and Romain Batby. Photo: Uncredited.