Norwegian start-up Otovo has secured NOK300 million (US$33.7 million) through a private placement to support the expansion of its solar marketplace into six new European countries.
This summer will see the company launch in the UK, Portugal and Austria, followed by an additional three markets in the next 12 months, as it looks to gain economies of scale advantages in hardware deals and diversify its operations base.
Otovo’s technology analyses the potential for installing solar systems on homes and finds the best price and installer for customers based on an automatic bidding process. The company has built up a network of more than 500 installer companies across the European Union.
Adding to its presence in Norway, Sweden, France and Spain, Otovo CEO Andreas Thorsheim said the start-up’s entry into Poland, Italy and Germany last year has “strengthened our confidence in the ability to launch markets swiftly, safely, and at a low cost”.
The UK, Portugal and Austria are expected to constitute more than 130,000 solar installations in 2022, approximately 10% of the European market, according to Otovo, which hopes to benefit from a battery attachment rate of between 30 – 60% of new customers in those countries.
The firm also aims to capitalise on rising electricity prices, with UK energy prices set to rise by more than 50% in April. “We saw this as a clear call to action and have now raised the additional capital that enables us to accelerate our pathway to continental scale with our proven model for market expansion,” Thorsheim said.
Otovo exited 2021 with operations in seven European countries and a yearly sales run-rate of around 8,400 new customers, a figure it expected to rise to 20,000 – 25,000 in 2023.
Its European growth comes as US solar marketplace EnergySage sold a majority stake in the business last week to Schneider Electric.