Enpal, a Berlin-based solar startup, has raised a €150m Series C round from SoftBank to expand its residential rooftop solar systems across Germany. The round comes as Europe’s gas crisis continues to spark increased interest in renewable energy solutions.
“Investor and consumer interest in solar is a macro trend that has been high for years. Of course, public attention for renewables, especially solar, is particularly high during times of price spikes and supply shocks for fossil fuels, but we feel strongly that the rising interest in solar and desire for energy-independent households is a long-term trend,” Mario Kohle, Enpal's founder, told Sifted.
SoftBank’s investment into Enpal closes the company’s Series C round, after it previously secured €100m from HV Capital and SolarCity cofounder Peter Rive. Enpal’s total financing is now €780m, including €280m in venture funding and €500m in project debt from banks and institutional investors.
Europe has seen surging gas prices in recent months — up five times compared with this time last year. That’s causing a reassessment of where countries source their energy from and, SoftBank says, an increased interest in funding startups working on alternatives to gas.
Our dream is to bring a solar system on every roof, battery storage into every home, an electric car in front of every door
“Rising electricity prices and increasing demand means renewable energy adoption is rapidly becoming mainstream,” said Yanni Pipilis, a managing partner at the investment firm.
Founded in 2017, Enpal installs photovoltaic panels onto residential rooftops. It works on a subscription basis, starting at €49 a month, aimed at eliminating the high up-front costs often associated with solar panel installation.
The subscription model allows homeowners to save money in the first month of usage, as the “monthly rates are often cheaper than the previous electricity costs,” Kohle said.
“Customers can freely consume all the electricity that is produced, and are compensated for any excess energy that is fed into the grid. After 20 years, the system can be taken over, and utilisation continued, for one symbolic euro. The panels are still guaranteed to have >85% of the capacity for at least 25 years.”
With over 10,000 customers, Enpal considers itself a market leader for solar panels for homeowners in Germany. It plans to expand to other European countries over the next one to two years, but where is still yet to be decided.
“Our dream is to bring a solar system on every roof, battery storage into every home, an electric car in front of every door, and to connect all people from all walks of life to a sustainable community,” Kohle said.