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Cloover raises $114M for Europe solar roof play

May 28, 2024
Illustration of a man working on a solar panel with a money overlay

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Cloover, a Berlin startup selling solar software and financing, has closed $114 million in equity and debt financing led by Lowercarbon Capital.

Why it matters: Residential rooftop solar continues to grow quickly in countries like Germany, the Netherlands and France.

Driving the news: Cloover said the seed round also included fintech investor QED and 9900 Capital, a new London-based VC managed by former investors at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

  • Cloover CEO Jodok Betschart said the debt funding would be used to finance the deployment of rooftop solar, storage and heat pump systems. The equity will be used to ramp up hiring and sales.
  • The company provides software and financing for small and medium-sized solar installers, helping the many local solar businesses across Europe compete with the larger companies like Enpal, and 1KOMMA5.
  • "Less than 15% of the market is covered by the big integrated [installers], and all of the rest, 85% or more, is still covered by the SMB [small medium business] installers," says Betschart.

Zoom in: Cloover offers different types of financing. The homeowner generally pays a monthly subscription for the systems over a 20-year period.

  • For the installers, the financing offers working capital so they can pre-order assets.

The big picture: Strong mandates and incentives are driving the growth of residential solar in European countries like Germany.

  • Germany has both a sales tax exemption, which reduces the installation costs by 20%, and regional residential rooftop mandates for new buildings.
  • "We see great momentum here," says Betschart, who moved to Berlin eight months ago.

What's next: Cloover plans to ramp up the number of employees from 15 to 40 and intends to deploy $100 million in financing for solar, batteries and heat pumps.

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