Smart green startups you should know

We are presenting the best smart green startups in energy, mobility and cities that pitched at Ecosummit in the past. Our list features BlaBlaCar, Lilium, Sonnen, Thermondo, Sigfox, Tado, Cityscoot, Netatmo, Vulog, Forsee Power, Kiwigrid, Origami Energy, Exeger, Greenergetic, Mobisol, Solarkiosk, Sunna Design, Ubitricity, Clevershuttle, Sunfire, Climeon, Sol Voltaics, Airlabs and Restore as well as their Ecosummit TV videos. These startups represent exciting business opportunities for buyers and sellers as well as investment opportunities for (C)VCs and family offices. Some of them have the potential to become smart green unicorns, others already did an exit but continue to be innovative business partners for utilities and other corporates. To get our attention pitch at the next Ecosummit and give an update on your startup to accelerate your growth and increase the number of term sheets in your next financing round.


BlaBlaCar is the first smart green unicorn made in Europe with a valuation of $1.6B. Empty seats in cars are the biggest long-distance transport network on the planet. The French startup enables resource efficient ride sharing to fill empty seats and operates in 22 countries. Both the drivers and passengers ride together on a private basis sharing the fuel costs. Thus they don’t need a license for passenger transport and don’t make any profit that will be taxed.


Lilium Jet

On-demand urban air transportation is the next big thing according to Daniel Wiegand, CEO and Co-Founder of Lilium. The German aviation startup develops an electric VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft called Lilium jet since 2015. Lilium raised €10M Series A from Atomico and $90M Series B from Tencent, LGT, Obvious Ventures, Atomico and Freigeist. Lilium makes urban aviation electric, silent and available for everyone with the help of air taxis flying at 300 km/h with a range of 300 km..


ECO16 Berlin Christoph Ostermann Sonnen

In its home market Germany, Sonnen is a licensed utility that challenges incumbent utilities by inventing new energy services and making electricity free for owners of PV and battery systems. Sonnen raised €76M Series D in 2016 and is currently fundraising its Series E. Investors include the Chinese wind turbine maker Envision Energy, the family office of Thomas Pütter, GE Ventures, Ecapital, SET Ventures, Munich Venture Partners and Inven Capital.


The heating market is an often-neglected but very important piece of the energy transition puzzle. Berlin-based Thermondo sells heating systems online and has an integrated workforce of installers driving branded vans around Germany to deliver and install more efficient heating systems at homeowners’ premises. We wrote about Thermondo’s Series B in 2015. Thermondo is growing super fast and, on 2 November 2017, announced a new €21M financing round adding Eneco and Vorwerk to their investor syndicate. Chapeau!


The French startup Sigfox operates a wireless IoT network and is an emerging unicorn. Sigfox raised €150M Series E in 2016 at a valuation of €600M. The investor syndicate includes Engie New Ventures, Idinvest and Bpifrance.


Tado is one of the fastest-growing smart green startups in Germany. The Munich-based late stage startup provides climate control services to households by controlling heating and air conditioning systems. Tado was founded in 2011, pitched at Ecosummit Berlin 2012 for the first time and grew their team to over 150 employees. Christian Deilmann, Co-Founder and CPO, comments: “We currently have a lot of traction growing at 400% annually in 12 European markets, USA and Singapore. Although we are well-funded thanks to our last round in autumn 2015, Inven Capital presented a great opportunity to strengthen our position in Central and Southeastern Europe and further accelerate our growth and innovation leadership. Our goal is an IPO in a couple of years.”




Forsee Power


Origami Energy





Sunna Design


Berlin-based Ubitricity is a startup that perfectly represents the convergence of energy and mobility. Their core product is a mobile electricity meter integrated in a smart charging cable that enables charging and billing of electric vehicles and other devices in the future. Currently, they have a lot of traction in London installing their low-cost solution in streetlights around town. On 14 November 2017, Ubitricity announced a new investment from Next47 with support of the business unit Siemens Energy Management and their echarging team. While the terms of the transaction are undisclosed, this is a major milestone and proof of competence for the mobile electricity startup.


Berlin-based Clevershuttle is backed by Daimler and Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures and operates electric shuttles with professional drivers.






At Ecosummit Berlin on 9 May 2017, Belgium-based Restore won Ecosummit Award Gold in the late stage category and was identified as a future smart green unicorn in our exciting panel discussion. On 3 November 2017, UK utility Centrica announced their acquisition of Restore for €70M. Most likely we played a role in this partnership as Restore’s advisor Bryan Garnier met the smart energy startup at Ecosummit. Post-acquisition Restore continues to be a leading demand response aggregator with over 1.7GW peak load under management and an even more trustworthy business partner for many utilities and corporates that want to make money in energy flexibility markets.

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