Sustainability/News/ Tesla backer bets on solar unicorn Enpal’s €215m Series D It follows the German company raising nearly €1bn in debt across 2022 By Kai Nicol-Schwarz 9 January 2023 Enpal founder Mario Kohle Enpal founder Mario Kohle \Mobility The European startups transforming supply chains, according to VCs By Freya Pratty 23 February 2023 Sustainability/News/ Tesla backer bets on solar unicorn Enpal’s €215m Series D It follows the German company raising nearly €1bn in debt across 2022 By Kai Nicol-Schwarz 9 January 2023 Berlin-based solar startup Enpal is today announcing a €215m Series D, in a round led by US investor TPG Rise Climate with participation from early Tesla backer Westly Group. It values the six-year-old startup at €2.2bn. Enpal rents out rooftop photovoltaic (a fancy way of saying solar electricity) panels as a subscription, helping consumers avoid hefty installation fees, and has its sights set on European expansion in 2023. Solar panels as a subscription Enpal rents out its solar energy systems — including solar panels, energy storage and electric vehicle (EV) chargers — to private homeowners. It also provides a care and maintenance service. There’s no upfront cost, but customers do have to commit to a 20-year subscription before they’re given the option of buying their panels outright for €1. It’s a business model that’s seen impressive growth among consumers in Germany over the last year — currently the only market it’s active in. Enpal was recently ranked as the fastest-growing energy company in Europe by the FT. In 12 months, Enpal’s customer numbers have tripled to 30k, its revenues have quadrupled to €400m and it says it’s hit profitability. The company plans to expand into other European markets this year — although it’s tight-lipped about exactly which ones they’ll be. Who’s invested in Enpal? The round follows a busy 2022 for the German unicorn — it raised €925m in debt across two rounds from a number of backers including BlackRock. The new €215m Series D is the largest equity round Enpal has raised so far, taking its total funding to €491m, according to Dealroom. Alongside TPG Rise Climate and Westly Group, London-based Activate Capital joined the startup as a new investor. Existing investors such as HV Capital, SoftBank Vision Fund II and Princeville Climate Tech also participated in the round. What’s the solar market like? The raise comes as rising energy prices push more consumers towards cost-effective renewable alternatives and investors are beginning to clock on to the opportunity. Despite a 24% drop in funding across European tech in 2022, climate tech startups brought in a record $14.4bn last year. Zolar, another German rooftop solar panel startup, raised €100m in May 2022 and there’s major investor interest in startups focused on electric vehicles, too. In 2022 sustainable battery company Northvolt raised €1.1bn in Europe’s biggest round of the year, and earlier this month Norwegian EV infrastructure startup Wattif raised €50m. Kai Nicol-Schwarz is a reporter at Sifted. He tweets from @NicolSchwarzK. Related Articles Fastest-growing European B Corps By Connor Bilboe Click here to read more Startups are guilty of the same greenwashing techniques as Big Oil By Lennart Joos Click here to read more Too much information: why sustainable startups are killing their growth with numbers By Joseph Simpson Click here to read more Britishvolt sees senior management exodus amid fundraising crunch By Freya Pratty Click here to read more Most Read 1 \Healthtech Is Daniel Ek’s new body scanner worth the hype? Sifted tried it out 2 \Venture Capital VC diversity needs to change — and white men need to take responsibility 3 \Venture Capital New €3.75bn European Investment Fund pot to back late-stage VCs 4 \Sustainability Counteract closes £15m fund for carbon removal solutions 5 \Mobility Was the $5bn that VCs plugged into escooters worth it?