German solar unicorn Enpal raises €215M from Tesla backer and more

Enpal founders
Image credits: Enpal

The Berlin-based solar unicorn Enpal has raised €215 million in its Series D round. The unicorn is valued at €2.2 billion and has raised €491 million in total.

Who invested in Enpal?

The round was led by TPG Rise Climate, the dedicated climate investing strategy of TPG’s global impact investing platform TPG Rise (that backed project44). It saw participation from Westly Group (Tesla backer that invested in WeaveGrid) and Activate Capital, and the two additional major climate investors are coming on board. Existing investors such as HV Capital (with support from the European Investment Bank), SoftBank Vision Fund II Capital and Princeville Climate Technology, also participated.

How will funds be used?

Enpal plans deploy the round to expand beyond Germany and enter other European markets this year. It aims to fulfill their vision of creating a global renewable-energy community.

It will be used to add new products to its lineup as it expands into new markets and further develops its overall smart energy platform.

Enpal founder and CEO Mario Kohle said, “We are thrilled to have high-profile global cleantech investors on board to support our mission to make clean energy simple, affordable, and accessible for every household. By joining forces, we can multiply our efforts to reduce carbon emissions and we will pave the way towards a more sustainable society.”

Edward Beckley, Partner at TPG and Senior member of the TPG Rise Climate investing team, said, “As fossil fuel prices remain elevated and governments enact policy to accelerate the energy transition, we continue to believe in the importance of home decarbonization across Europe. We are delighted to partner with Enpal to bring their user-friendly, end-to-end solution to more homes across Germany and broader Europe.”

Steve Westly, founder and managing partner, stated, “Clean energy has been front and center of everything we do at Westly Group from day one, and we strongly believe in Enpal’s vision to connect humankind to become a renewable community. We are proud to partner with Enpal on the mission to make renewable energy easy, accessible, and affordable for everyone, and fight the climate crisis on a global scale.”

David Lincoln, Activate Managing Partner, added, “Enpal’s remarkable growth is a reflection of their pioneering commitment to innovation, execution, and customer service. Furthering our mission for a resilient, sustainable future, Activate is proud to be partnering with what we expect to be one of the global leaders in clean energy solutions.”

Viktor Wingert, Co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of Enpal, said, “This latest funding round, in addition to the recently secured 855m EUR in refinancing by Blackrock Alternatives, ING, Pricoa Private Capital, Unicredit and Infranity, puts us in a unique position to grow faster and stronger in 2023 and beyond. Winning the trust of such high-caliber partners in a challenging macroeconomic environment leaves us very humble, but more eager than ever to deliver on our vision.”

Solar as a service platform that uses AI

Enpal leverages AI for provisioning and installing solar services, and offers a subscription-style model for homeowners to pay for it. The AI-based algorithm lets users click pictures of their roofs and uses computer vision and other techniques to determine the size and positioning of the installation required. With this process, the provisioning part is done remotely and technicians only visit the house for installation. Eventually, it offers faster service at a lower cost.

Customers use an IoT app to measure their energy gathering and consumption, and to pay for services. Customers have to pay rent on the solar panels and for the all-round service and not pay for the energy they use. This includes installation, maintenance, repair and insurance. Users have to sign a 20-year contract.

A diverse team and founders!

Enpal was founded in 2017 by Mario Kohle, and co-founders Jochen Ziervogel and Viktor Wingert in Berlin. Mario grew up as a working class kid in former GDR while Viktor immigrated to Germany with his parents as a child with a Russian working-class background.

Together, they decided to establish Enpal with the vision of connecting humanity to become a renewable community.

About 40% of its office staff are female and its employees come from 68 nations and all kinds of social backgrounds with 75% having a migration background.

Enpal has nearly 30,000 customers in Germany to date and over 2,000 additional solar energy systems being installed per month.

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