Verdane partners with UrbanVolt to drive expansion and build the European Solar-as-a-Service champion
Verdane, the European specialist growth investor, through its impact fund Idun, has made an investment of up to €26 million in UrbanVolt, a leader in clean energy technology. UrbanVolt currently has operations in Ireland and the United Kingdom; Verdane’s investment will drive expansion in these markets and facilitate further European entry. UrbanVolt will draw on Verdane’s international network and deep expertise in decarbonisation, along with their in-house team of operational experts, Elevate. UrbanVolt marks Verdane’s 40th investment in the sustainability space.
UrbanVolt helps business customers make a cost-effective transition to clean energy with their unique ‘Solar-as-a-Service’ business model. This is especially impactful for industrial customers: 60% of UK manufacturers say that increased energy costs are business threatening, and 12% have already made job cuts as a direct result of increased energy bills. UrbanVolt’s model involves financing, installing, and maintaining solar panels for customers, enabling the customer to buy solar-generated power at a discount to grid-based electricity providers’ rates, at up to 40% lower cost. UrbanVolt’s power purchase agreement solution allows businesses to lock in their electricity rate for up to 30 years, safeguarding customers against volatile energy costs and guaranteeing a stable supply of electricity for decades to come.
Verdane’s investment comes at a crucial juncture in the European solar market as solar capacity is expected to double by 2030 and more than quadruple by 2050. UrbanVolt is already the Solar-as-a-Service market leader in Ireland, with more than 150 businesses in Ireland and the United Kingdom signed up for solar and light agreements. UrbanVolt’s clients include brewing company Heineken, pharmaceutical company Pfizer, medical device manufacturer Zimmer Biomet, and global supply chain solution-provider Syncreon.
In addition to strong underlying structural tailwinds, UrbanVolt will benefit from Verdane’s deep expertise in scaling decarbonisation-oriented businesses, including Cleanwatts, Re-Match and EVA Global. Verdane will support UrbanVolt with product development, bolstering its sales and marketing engine, and optimising its financing structure. Verdane’s investment will also help UrbanVolt to cement its position as a leader in solar solutions through organic and inorganic growth, scaling UrbanVolt’s presence in the UK and other European markets.
Reed Snyder, Principal at Verdane, said: “We are delighted to partner with UrbanVolt and support their ambitious expansion plans in Ireland, the UK and Europe. UrbanVolt’s unique approach to providing affordable solar energy solutions aligns perfectly with Verdane’s focus on backing companies that are accelerating Europe’s decarbonisation efforts. Together, we aim to further develop UrbanVolt’s offerings and bring their sustainable solutions to more businesses across Europe, driving positive impact for the environment and the economy.”
Kevin Maughan, co-founder and CEO of UrbanVolt, said: “Securing this €26 million funding from Verdane marks a pivotal moment for UrbanVolt as we set our sights on an ambitious European expansion. We are thrilled to have the support of Verdane, a renowned specialist growth equity investor and fellow certified B Corp, who share our vision for a sustainable future. This investment will not only fuel our continued growth in the Irish market but also empower us to bring our innovative solar solutions to businesses across the UK and Europe. At UrbanVolt, we remain steadfast in our commitment to providing clean energy solutions that not only drive cost savings for our clients but also contribute to a greener and more sustainable world for generations to come.”
The investment was made from Verdane’s Idun I fund, which is classified as “Article 9” under the European Union’s Finance Disclosure Regulation, and which closed in January 2022 at its hard cap of €300 million. Idun makes investments in companies thematically focused on sustainability. Previous investments include NORNORM, an award-winning circular economy furniture business; Re-Match, the global leader in artificial turf recycling technologies; and EVA Global, an award-winning managed services provider supporting the global shift to electric vehicles.