Fresh capital for Skeleton, Tibber, The Fctr E, Tier, Dance, Greenbird, Pexapark, Dryad and Clim8

European smart green startups in energy, mobility and cities are en vogue among global investors and have recently closed new financing rounds. It’s about time to celebrate their progress and give you a quick summary of 9 transactions that have impressed us: Skeleton Technologies €41.3M Series D, Tibber $30M Series B, The Fctr E €10M Series A, Tier Mobility $250M Series C, Dance Mobility €15M Series A, Greenbird €5M Series B, Pexapark €6M Series B, Dryad Networks €1.8M Seed and Clim8 Invest £2.4M Seed Extension. Read on to learn why we think that these startups provide a lot of growth, environmental impact and financial return potential. We also note a growing number of serial entrepreneurs with exits who prefer to build a sustainable startup next to maximise their impact until 2030. That’s a really positive and inspiring trend.

Skeleton €41.3M Series D

Founder CEO Taavi Madiberk pitched Skeleton Technologies for the first time at Ecosummit Berlin 2012 and came back to our conference a few times. Their €41.3M Series D is their most important milestone so far and brings their total funding to €93M. Investors include the founders of Dutch fintech Adyen and EIT InnoEnergy. Skeleton makes ultracapacitors which are very fast power storage devices that can also be combined with lithium-ion batteries. That’s why Tesla acquired Maxwell Technologies for $235M in stock in May 2019. Skeleton expects to triple their revenues again in 2020 and claims that their technology is better than Tesla’s. If it’s true then the future looks very bright for this smart green startup from Estonia.

Tibber $30M Series B

If you want to change the game and disrupt the utility industry with a new brand, a smart app and low-cost dynamic tariffs, it is a good idea to ask big financial VCs for their backing. Consequently, Tibber‘s $30M Series B was led by Eight Roads Ventures and Balderton Capital (Partner James Wise explains their investment rationale), with participation from existing investors Founders Fund and BKK Spring, the CVC unit of Norwegian regional utility BKK whose Monika Inde Zsak is Tibber’s chairwoman. On top of the $30M new equity, Nordea provides $35M venture debt as working capital to pre-finance the cost of electricity until customers pay their bills.

Tibber was founded in 2016 by Edgeir Vårdal Aksnes and Daniel Lindén and already serves over 100.000 customers in Norway, Sweden and Germany. Tibber passes on their dynamic wholesale electricity prices to their retail customers and only charges a monthly basic fee, e.g. €3,99 incl. VAT in Germany. They also sell smart home devices in an online shop. Their next target market is the Netherlands in 2021. Since November 2020, we’re a Tibber customer in our home in Berlin and switched because we can save between 4-6 cents per kWh. If you don’t take a margin on kWhs, you encourage customers to save energy and, at the same time, make them very sticky as you’re already the cheapest provider in the market. We believe that Tibber will be very successful and may rather do an IPO to stay independent and disruptive in the long-term.

The Fctr E €10M Series A

Founder CEO Joris Jonker is a serial entrepreneur who sold Quby and their smart home remote control Toon to Eneco in 2015. In December 2016, Joris hooked up with Jan-Willem van Wensem and Frits Verhoef to co-found The Fctr E in Amsterdam and enable houses to become their own energy factories. The company name can be optimised and they’re already working on a new brand. More importantly, their business model and technology for providing all-electric smart homes as a service to customers who only pay a monthly membership fee is now ready for international expansion. To this end, London-based Rinkelberg Capital, the family office of the TomTom founders, invested €10M in their Series A following their original €4M seed investment. This single investor with deep pockets saves Joris a lot of fundraising time which can rather be spent on running the business and talking to customers. Joris pitches at Ecosummit Zoom 2 December 2020 and tells us more about his strategy and recipe for success.

Tier Mobility $250M Series C

We still remember our call with serial impact entrepreneur Lawrence Leuschner in early 2018 when he was looking for his next smart green startup idea. While he was also contemplating disrupting the food industry, he ended up with his micromobility as a service game called Tier Mobillity. The rest is history. In record time, the Berlin-based startup rolled out over 60.000 e-scooters to 80 cities in 10 countries and just closed a massive $250M Series C led by Masayoshi Son’s Softbank Vision Fund. The new Tier Energy Network is a distributed battery swapping station network operated by local retailers that want to make some extra money. Lawrence is also an active angel investor with Blue Impact Ventures as he wants to support the next generation of impact founders.

Dance Mobility €15M Series A

The Soundcloud founders Eric Quidenus-Wahlforss and Alexander Ljung were also looking to start a new company with global impact and analysed a ton of business ideas. In their case, they invited Christian Springub as third co-founder and came up with Dance Mobility to mobilise urban music lovers with the help of easy ebike subscriptions, differentiated by an inhouse ebike design launching next year that is supposed to be better than the Cowboy and all the rest of them. The €15M Series A is led by HV Capital and will be helpful to compete in the crowded ebike market.

Greenbird €5M Series B

On 29 September 2020, Oslo-based Greenbird announced their €5M Series B powered by new investors EnBW New Ventures and Nysnø Climate Investments and existing investor ETF Partners. Greenbird is a leading smart energy software company and their platform Utilihive is often used to build complex IT systems for utilities that integrate all kinds of existing and new data-rich software systems.

Pexapark €6M Series B

On 22 June 2020, Pexapark announced their €6M Series B led by BayWa r.e. Energy Ventures and joined by Encavis and RP Global. Founded in 2017, the Swiss startup makes software and provides advisory services to help asset owners and investors manage portfolios and financial risk in the post-subsidy renewable energy markets. In particular, the Pexapark platform can be used to price, analyse, source and manage power purchase agreements (PPAs). Founder CEO Michael Waldner pitched at Ecosummit Zoom 3 November 2020 and convinced us that Pexapark is well positioned in renewable energy trading and has a lot of growth and impact potential.

Dryad Networks €1.8M Seed

Carsten Brinkschulte is another serial entrepreneur aiming at founding a sustainable startup to have as much impact as possible. After a long ideation process, Carsten recruited several co-founders to launch Dryad Networks in Berlin, a smart forest network for the ultra-early detection of wildfires with the help of IoT sensors and long-range LoRaWAN wireless network technology. Dryad’s €1.8M Seed round is a great milestone and includes the corporate Stihl among its investors. As you can imagine, the leading chainsaw manufacturer has a global customer base of forest managers and workers who increasingly suffer from the growing number of wildfires on our planet. Carsten performed a passionate online pitch at Ecosummit Zoom 3 November 2020 proving that Dryad is a fantastic impact startup with a smart green solution for a global problem.

Clim8 Invest £2.4M Seed Extension

Our ecoportfolio company Clim8 Invest, the new smart green investment community in the UK, just closed their £2.4M Seed Extension with support from 1.900 investors recruited on Crowdcube and off platform through personal introductions. Clim8 is a simple way to invest in a sustainable portfolio of carefully selected companies already making a positive impact on climate change. Founder CEO Duncan Grierson is a serial entrepreneur and ex-VC with an amazing track record who decided to build a big fintech startup to fight climate change rather than raising a VC fund. The next step is a big Series A in 2021.

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