On the back of a 7.5 million ($9.36 million) cash injection for the company, demand for Sonnenbatterie’s eco storage system remains evidently strong. Grappling with delivery bottlenecks just a few weeks ago, the manufacturer, based in Allgäu, Germany, has announced that it is poised to expand its production capacity.
"Around the start of the new year we will be back on track," said Sonnenbatterie CEO Christoph Ostermann in an interview with pv magazine.
The company’s production is currently in a ramp-up phase that is expected to continue through to the end of the year. Monthly, the production facility is churning out four times more storage systems than it did in the first half of the year, said Ostermann and he is not ruling out expanding production even morein 2015. Currently, production is running a single shift. If the demand warrants it, Ostermann adds, the number of shifts could increase along with production capacity.
Sonnenbatterie has secured the capital that it needs to grow in a new round of financing. Three venture capital investors Chrysalix SET, Munich Venture Partners (MVP) and eCapital have stumped up the 7.5 million. "Sonnenbatterie made a conscious decision against strategic investors to keep its independence," said Ostermann. Such offers had been on the table, he revealed.
Since last year’s round of funding eCapital has been on board and has now upped its investment, according to Ostermann. The capital funds received shares of Sonnenbatterie for their investors. Ostermann said that the networks of the potential investors was also decisive in Sonnenbatteries selection of funders. This was a key criteria in view of the companys expansion in the U.S., which is planned for next year.
Ostermann has a decidedly hopeful outlook for the future. Sonnenbatteries revenue for 2014 was expected to roughly double, and a twofold increase is also a realistic goal in 2015, said the CEO.
Sonnenbatterie currently has almost 100 employees, a figure that has doubled in the past 12 months thanks to expanded production. As long as this demand continues to increase, Sonnenbatterie plans to keep growing. The goal is to achieve a delivery time of four weeks for battery storage systems.
Translated by Timothy Hanes