Venlo-based tech company Solarus has raised 6.7 million euros in funding from a group of investors in a round led by ForestEffect Fund. The management of Solarus, NASACA Smart Energy, Catena Investments and Ponzio Solar Facilities SA also participated. The 800.000 euro the company raised on crowdfunding platform Symbid in december 2016 is a part of the 6.7 million euros. The company has raised a total of approximately 18 million euros in public and private funding and plans to raise an additional 2,6 million in the coming months.
The capital raised will be used to enhance the efficiency of Solarus’ hybrid solar collector systems and expand internationally. The company claims to be able to reach 1 billion in revenue in the next 5 to 7 years. Up till now some 1,500 systems are installed.
“This round of funding enables us to accelerate our international expansion. Our aim is to establish assembly factories in the near future in Spain, India and South-Africa where we already have an office in Cape Town,’ says Geerd Schlangen”, spokesperson of Solarus to StartupJuncture. Adding: “This enables us to serve South Africa, but also also a large number of Sub-Saharan countries that have showed interest in our collectors. Especially for cooling purposes.”
Besides homeland Europe and Africa, the company is interested in accelerating its expansion in India and Turkey.
The main advantage of the Solarus power collectors is their hybrid nature. By capturing solar radiation besides photons to generate electricity via PV panels it can deliver up to 4 times more energy than stand alone PV panels. On top of providing a hybrid solution the company applies its so-called ‘Active Cell Cooling’ technology to cool PV cells and as result improve electrical performance of up to 40%. “There are still a lot of organisations that use electricity to create heat. Our solution offers them the heat they need directly from the source, which is obviously much more efficient”, says Schlangen.
The company delivers its systems currently to hotel chains, hospitals, sport/wellness centres, the (food) process industry, offices and housing property developers. Vineyard Hotel in Capetown, the Henri Willig Kaasfabriek (cheese factory) in Katwoude (Netherlands) and the Saunter Paradise Hotel in Kimbassa in Sri Lanka are a few clients of Solarus.
Founded originally in Sweden Solarus relocated with its production and headquarters in 2015 in Venlo. It now employs 30 people across The Netherlands, Sweden, South Africa, and India.
The company has previously won the Accenture Innovation Awards in 2016 and the PowerCollector Stedin Erasmus Energy Business Award 2017.
Photo by George Hiles on Unsplash