The extension is from three European leading climate tech investors World Fund, Nordic Alpha Partners and Legal & General Capital (“Legal & General”)
Stockholm, 19th January 2023: After a first closing announced in September, solar power pioneer SunRoof is today announcing a €13.5 million extension with new investment from a syndicate of leading European climate tech investors, including World Fund, Nordic Alpha Partners and L&G Capital. The extension takes SunRoof’s total growth round, led by Klima Energy Transition, the growth equity fund of Alantra, to €28.5m and will be used to drive its expansion plans across Europe and the US.
SunRoof is a Swedish startup revolutionising the capture and use of renewable energy through its solar roof system. It delivers the most powerful building-integrated solar roofs on the market by offering building and homeowners a complete, end-to-end energy management system. By combining this innovative technology, with market-leading energy data logging software, SunRoof is on a mission to build the largest, smartest network of connected, solar homes in the world.
At the heart of SunRoof’s platform are 2-in-1 solar roofs and innovative façades that generate electricity without having to use traditional top-mounted photovoltaic modules. By combining traditional materials with state-of-the-art energy-capturing technology, SunRoof not only makes the most productive solar roofs, per square metre, anywhere in the world, but it is able to keep costs low. This is all while reducing the company’s carbon footprint, using fewer resources and materials than traditional roof and PV installations, and with an aesthetic design that pleases and delights customers.
In addition to its roofs and facades, the SunRoof system comes with energy storage and a digital platform where SunRoof customers can track every stage of their roof’s construction – from design to build to delivery. This includes being able to see how the roofs will look through AR. Once installed, customers then get complete oversight of their energy production and consumption via SunRoof’s energy app.
The new funding follows a year of significant growth for the company - up 300% year on year and the team has increased 13-fold since January 2020, to more than 150 people Europe-wide. SunRoof now has customers in Sweden, Germany, and Poland, along with pilots in the US, and will use the funding to continue to grow and consolidate its leading position in existing markets. This latest funding extension takes SunRoof’s total raised, since launch, to €35 million following a first closing in 2022 led by Klima Energy Transition, and investors including Inovo VC, SMOK Ventures, Alfabeat and Level2 Ventures.
Demand for solar panels is soaring across the world, up 30% this year alone, but no more so than in Europe as a result of the Russian war in Ukraine and the need to source independent, secure energy suppliers. As well, governments are catching up to the need for more renewable energy sources, with the European Union set to make solar panels mandatory on all new buildings from 2029. Yet the wider sector is struggling to keep up with demand, with a lack of skilled installers to serve the growing customer base across the continent.
SunRoof is tackling this challenge in two ways. First, it is building its own end-to-end software platform that covers the whole journey - from customer orders to operations and delivery. Using this, it will create predictive models that can anticipate demand and ensure it always has the right stock at the right time. This tool will be fully launched in early 2023. This platform in particular will improve efficiencies and enable SunRoof to scale more effectively across its markets, as well as enable its expansion. And secondly, its technology is unique in that it doesn’t rely on PV installers to install its roofs; instead, it is a similar process to installing a normal roof so it is able to train roofers in its markets and provide additional skills to them.
It’s this combined approach that attracted World Fund, Europe’s leading climate investor, to back the company. World Fund backs entrepreneurs building climate tech solutions that have the potential to save at least 100 megatonnes of CO2 every year. General Partner Tim Schumacher will join SunRoof’s board whilst Investment Associate Victoria McIvor will be an observer.
The company was founded by Karol Kaniuk and is led by his co-founder and brother, CEO Lech Kaniuk. Lech is a serial entrepreneur, having previously founded Online Pizza Group (which later merged with Delivery Hero), PizzaPortal and iTaxi, and the pair is backed by an experienced management team which includes co-founder of Jumia Travel and HotelOnline.co, Marek Zmysłowski, entrepreneur and former Google executive, Rafał Plutecki and founder of nationwide logistics company Expert and lawyer, Martyn Szczepankowski.
SunRoof also recently strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of Piotr Przybyzsz as Chief Operating Officer in December, who will drive forward the next stage of expansion plans in 2023 and beyond. With Przybysz, SunRoof gains an operational specialist with more than 20 years of experience in process management in production, supply chain, logistics, quality control and digitization of operational processes.
Lech Kaniuk, Co-Founder and CEO of SunRoof, said: “In Europe, we’re facing two crises: the climate and the energy crises. SunRoof is enabling consumers, businesses and governments to access and benefit from independent, regenerative energy and end the overreliance on fossil fuels. I’m delighted to have this brilliant consortium of investors on board, who collectively are the best possible combination of funds for SunRoof at this growth stage. Thanks to this group of brilliant climate investors with resources to provide hands-on support and connections to their respective networks, I truly believe we will be able to accelerate our growth even further and will be well-positioned to rapidly conduct our international expansion at the end of 2023.”
Tim Schumacher, General Partner at World Fund, said: “Solar panels are one of the most effective tools we have to pioneer a regenerative future and combat the climate crisis yet there is still a lot of reticence from prospective customers, not to mention the supply chain challenges and installation crisis which are holding back the industry. SunRoof’s solution is the kind of thinking we need to tackle the climate crisis and prevent megatonnes of C02e from entering the atmosphere.”
Rasmus Lund, Investment Partner at Nordic Alpha Partners, said: “Due to its efficient core product servicing a large and fast-growing market favoured by non-cyclical tailwinds and a digitised market approach which has already proven successful in different markets, Sunroof is poised to convert its current regional front runner position into becoming a European category leader in the booming BIPV space.”
Adam Erritzøe, Value Creation Partner at Nordic Alpha Partners, said: “We have worked intensively with Lech and his team on refining the strategy. Sunroof has an outstanding team capable of outperforming the market based on the differentiated growth strategy and a highly data-driven expansion playbook.”
John Bromley, Managing Director - Clean Energy Strategy, Legal & General Capital, said: “Legal & General Capital is investing in the energy transition to support the scale up of innovative businesses that deliver solutions to reduce carbon emissions throughout the economy, and over the past six years, our investments have focused on decarbonising power, transportation and the built environment. We are delighted to invest in SunRoof, a business bringing innovation in design and customer experience to rooftops across Europe, to support homeowners and businesses in their transition from fossil fuel generated power. We look forward to working with our new partner as SunRoof accelerates its growth into new markets globally.”
SunRoof builds powerful 2-in-1 solar roofs and innovative façades that generate electricity, replacing the need of a traditional roof. SunRoof is a smart investment and functional roof providing an efficient energy solution with uncompromising elegance. Our mission is to speed up the global transition to renewables by developing elegant roofs that, by generating electricity, will cover the energy demand of the entire building. SunRoof’s ambition is to provide solar roofs with the lowest carbon footprint on the market.
World Fund is the leading European-focused climate venture capital fund established by Daria Saharova, Danijel Višević, Craig Douglas, and Tim Schumacher. From energy, food, agriculture, and land use, to building materials, manufacturing and transport, World Fund is investing in European climate tech with a climate performance potential (CPP) of at least 100Mt CO2e emission savings per year from 2040. Because we need to decarbonise our economy, we believe startups with technologies with such CPP will be among the most valuable companies of the next decade.
Nordic Alpha Partners is a leading European Industrial Greentech fund investing in growth stage companies with technologies having a substantial environmental impact and potential to become global category leaders.
Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK's leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with over £1.4 trillion in total assets under management* of which a third is international. We also provide powerful asset origination capabilities. Together, these underpin our leading retirement and protection solutions: we are a leading international player in pension risk transfer, in UK and US life insurance, and in UK workplace pensions and retirement income. Through inclusive capitalism, we aim to build a better society by investing in long-term assets that benefit everyone.
*at 31 Dec 2021
Legal & General Capital (LGC) is Legal & General Group’s alternative asset platform, creating assets for Legal & General Retirement and third-party clients in order to achieve improved risk-adjusted returns for our shareholders. LGC has built its capabilities in a range of alternative sectors, including in residential property; specialist commercial real estate; clean energy; alternative credit; and venture capital, which are all supported by long-term structural growth drivers, meet a financing gap and respond to a scarcity of supply that is underpinned by enduring societal needs. Its purpose is to invest society’s capital for society’s benefit. Investing in the real economy and supporting the Group’s focus on climate and inclusive capitalism, LGC’s investments create jobs, change lives and contribute towards a net zero carbon future.
Legal & General has invested over £29bn in levelling-up regional economies, including through major UK-wide regeneration schemes and has recently made a commitment to enable all its new homes to operate at net zero carbon emissions from 2030.
(As of June 2021)
Klima Energy Transition Fund is the result of a partnership between Alantra, a seasoned investment team in the energy sector and Enagás, a leader in the energy infrastructure segment and technical manager of the Spanish gas system. The 210M€ growth equity fund takes minority stakes in companies located in Europe and North America with high growth potential in energy transition sectors such as low carbon solutions, smart power grids and markets, energy storage and technologies enabling a stronger penetration of renewables in the energy mix, digitalization of the whole energy equation, energy efficiency technologies and sustainable transportation.
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