Solfácil receives R$ 157 million with an eye fixed on rising entry to photo voltaic vitality and investing in expertise
- September 23, 2022
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Fifth Wall Fund led follow-on to the Series C round of BRL 500 million announced in May this year
THE Solfacil, an ecosystem of solar energy solutions, announced this Thursday (22/9) the raising of US$ 30 million (R$ 157 million) in a follow-on led by the venture capital fund Fifth Wall. The contribution complements the Series C investment of US$ 100 million (R$ 500 million) raised in May. Founded in 2018, the startup grants financing and offers products and services to individuals, SMEs and rural producers who want to use solar energy.
For Fabio Carrara, founder and CEO of the startup, two factors justify the new investment. The issue of global warming, which has become even more urgent with the war between Ukraine and Russia and the consequent impact on energy supply to Europe, is one of them. The second reason, according to him, is a result of the first: with more and more climate alerts and the increase in the search for energy from renewable sources around the world, private equity players turned their attention to the subject, structuring funds and initiatives to invest in startups that provide solutions to the problem.
Carrara says that Solfácil was actively approached at the end of Series C by Fifth Wall, which recently set up a climate tech fund. “We are seeing the most stressed technology environment, startups are preparing for a more difficult period to raise capital in the coming months. We took the opportunity to capitalize on the company and have more peace of mind,” says Carrara.
The CEO says the investment will be used, in part, to finance the loans the startup makes to customers. Fintech carries out financing for up to 144 months in a B2B2C model. In other words, Solfácil offers credit to those who want to use solar energy through so-called integrator partners, who attract consumers and install the panels.
Another part of the money will go to technology development. Last month, the company launched Ampera, hardware with proprietary technology that had an investment of R$ 20 million. The product promises to improve the connection between suppliers and consumers. The solution, which does not need internet to work, triggers warnings to signal problems that could cause energy loss and generates production and consumption data.
“We are not interested in generating solar energy per se, but we are working on cheaper versions of Ampera, with new features to increase the level of safety”, says the founder. The marketplace, which already has thousands of combinations of solar energy kits for integrators to offer to customers, will also receive investment.
Despite having become the third largest source in the Brazilian electricity matrix – behind hydroelectric and wind power -, according to a survey carried out by the Brazilian Photovoltaic Solar Energy Association (Absolar), with data from the National Electric Energy Agency (Aneel), the use of of solar energy in Brazil is still in its infancy. “Penetration in Brazil is very low, less than 2% of households. In countries like Australia, this rate is already close to 30%. It will be decades of growth, but, in the future, probably all people will produce their own energy not only for sustainability, but out of necessity”, emphasizes Carrara.
Despite not disclosing the startup’s market value, the CEO says that Solfácil should quintuple its revenue in 2022 — reaching hundreds of millions. With almost 100,000 customers currently, the startup expects to serve 1 million end consumers in five years.
Source: PEGN Magazine