Solartraders: Nordic startup soaks up €120M to help homeowners reduce their electricity bills

Otovo solar panels
Image credits: Otovo

Electricity and gas prices are rising for millions of European households and many startups are trying to come up with a solution. Furthermore, Germany has one of the largest residential solar markets in Europe, with a market worth more than €2 billion per year by 2022.

As a result, Oslo-based Otovo, a marketplace for residential solar installations, has seized the opportunity and raised €120 million in a round that comprises debt and equity shares placement. This comes almost a year after the €30 million raise during when it announced its intention to uplist from Euronext Growth to the Oslo Stock Exchange within 12 months. However, the uplisting has been postponed to February 2023.

According to the company’s press release, this is the largest financing to date for a European solar company. By the time the financing is fully utilized, Otovo will have a subscription portfolio of approximately 80-105 MW of solar power and battery assets worth NOK2 billion.

The debt investment arrives in €50 million + €50 million committed and uncommitted accordion debt financing respectively from DNB Bank ASA (“DNB”) and Sparebank 1 SR-bank ASA (“Spb 1 SR-bank”) enabling the construction of a total of 12,500 solar subscription assets.

On the other hand, the fully guaranteed equity issue of €20 million came from a private placement by the company’s largest shareholder, AxSol AB, at NOK 19.88 per share. Nysnø Klimainvesteringer, Agder Energi Invest and OBOS, together with Axsol AB have indicated to participate with their pro-rata share.

“Otovo’s mission to put solar panels on roofs and batteries into homes across Europe represents a good and concrete example of renewable solutions which contribute to the green shift. DNB will be a driving force for sustainable transition by financing and facilitating sustainable activities worth NOK 1 500 billion by 2030. We are happy to support Otovo in their mission, which will provide easier access to renewable energy for individuals across Europe”, said Trine Loe, EVP Future & Tech Industries in Corporate Banking in DNB.

“We have a stated ambition of a substantial increase in financing sustainable activities before 2030. The partnership with Otovo is an important step to achieve this ambition and shows how Norwegian banks can take a leading position in supporting the energy transition”, said Tore Medhus, director of large corporates in Spb1 SR-bank.

“AxSol looks forward to supporting Otovo’s continued growth journey. Otovo’s strong team, the structural growth of solar and power storage, and the company’s proven track record in quickly gaining traction in new markets, strengthens our confidence in their potential to become a European market leader”, said Johan Bergström, CEO of AxSol.

Huge fleet of solar subscription assets!

Founded in Oslo in 2016 by Andreas Thorsheim, Otovo is an online marketplace for solar installations and sold and completed over 11,000 solar energy projects across Europe and is active in 13 markets.

In contrast to other startups in the industry, it offers consumers an easy way to reduce their dependence on skyrocketing energy costs. An automated bidding process is used by Otovo to analyse a home and find the best price and installer for the job. Through its marketplace, it organises hundreds of local, qualified and high-quality energy installers.

“With 12.000 solar subscription assets, Otovo will own and operate a very large distributed power plant. In fact it will be equivalent to some of the largest solar power plants in Europe. We will continue to build increasingly more in the years to come, and provide Europe with significant amounts of the green power that is crucially needed to overcome the power shortage and environmental crises we are in”, said Andreas Thorsheim, CEO and founder of Otovo.

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