Epilot raises Series A from Enercity after meeting at Ecosummit
At Ecosummit deals get done. We saw the need for bringing new climate tech to the global market a long time ago. Thus we already have 10 years track record of matching smart green startups with investors. Here’s one more success story about a fast growing energy e-commerce startup and a transforming city utility that met for the first time at Ecosummit Berlin 2019 to explore common ground with the help of coffee. Good deals take time. 9 months later, on 11 February 2020, Epilot announced at E-world the closing of its Series A in which Enercity invests a significant but undisclosed amount of growth capital to buy a 25,1% stake in Epilot’s cap table. After finishing our startup tour running around Germany’s leading energy trade fair, we joined Epilot’s lively stand party to celebrate the deal closing, interview the co-founders and enjoy a few Kölsch together.
Modern utilities need an energy e-commerce platform
In August 2017, Epilot was founded in Cologne by CEO Michel Nicolai, CTO Szilard Toth, CFO Rolf Benken and his business partner Johannes Alte-Teigeler as well as Axon Ivy, represented by its COO Rolf Stephan. Axon Ivy is a software company specialised in intelligent business process management that invested capital, know-how and a software license into Epilot to make money and strengthen its position in the energy market. The co-founders came together to build a cloud-based e-commerce platform for small and big utilities enabling them to go digital and sell all of their products online in an easy and seamless customer journey. It quickly turned out that they hit a huge market need among Germany’s energy players that are struggling with launching new energy services to volatile customers switching frequently, complex digitalisation, urgent decarbonisation and fierce competition leading to thin margins. As result, Epilot now serves 50 customers in Germany and Switzerland with 70 employees and experienced skyrocketing revenue growth of 750% in 2019. Internationalisation is a big topic, Austria will be next and other European markets are being investigated, too.
Building the smart green utility of the future
It so happens that Epilot’s new friend Dr. Susanna Zapreva is Austrian, managed Wien Energie for 7 years and joined Enercity as CEO in March 2016. Susanna aims at transforming the municipal utility in Hannover with 700.000 customers and €2.4B revenues into a super modern digital energy service provider that integrates renewable energy, electric mobility and smart home services into a full service for sustainable citizens in the whole country. Juggling a packed calendar like every other CEO, Susanna managed to personally attend Ecosummit Berlin 2019 to learn about new ideas and meet the founders driving the future of energy. Having invested in Wallbe in the past and being open for more startup investments, Epilot is now the second strategic minority investment of Enercity. Susanna believes that Epilot will deliver not only financial but also strategic returns. The integration of Epilot’s e-commerce engine into Enercity’s company-wide IT platform has already started and Susanna even thinks about opening up and licensing their new digital utility platform to third parties as a new business in the near future.
Szilard first pitched Epilot at Ecosummit Berlin 2018 and Christian Hodgson gave an update on stage and Ecosummit TV last year. We believe that Epilot is a very promising Ecosummit startup and their next financing round in 2021 is bound to attract many top financial and corporate VCs in the European energy landscape. Join Ecosummit Berlin 6-7 May 2020 to build your relationship with the co-founders of Epilot and all the other amazing startups lined up.
Tags: Axon Ivy, Christian Hodgson, E-Commerce, Ecosummit Berlin 2018, Ecosummit Berlin 2019, Ecosummit Startup, electric mobility, Enercity, Energy, Epilot, Eworld, Michel Nicolai, Rolf Benken, Rolf Stephan, Smart Energy, Smart Green Startup, Smart Home, Software, Susanna Zapreva, Szilard Toth