‘The technology and the capital are available, but the market simply lacks execution capacity’


German aggregator 1Komma5° has acquired an unspecified majority stake in Swedish PV system provider Cellsolar AB, which it claims is the second largest in the Scandinavian markets. This is the sixth deal announced by 1Komma5° since December, with five similar investments having been made in the German solar market.

1Komma5° was founded last summer by former Tesla and Sonnen Executive Philipp Schröder with the goal to initially raise up to €100 million to fund acquisitions of new PV installations and to create a “streamlined European platform player in order to decarbonize 500,000 buildings per year by 2030”. To this end, the company plans to expand its own financing options in order to increase the scope of the total investment to over €500 million. In December, 1Komma5° announced that Porsche Ventures also became a shareholder of the company.

Through the new transaction in Sweden, Schröder hopes to raise the company's annual revenue to between €80 million and €100 million and to reach an annual solar deployment of up to 6,000 rooftop systems, heat pumps and other types of home energy systems.

Referring to the climate goal of keeping global warming below 1.5°, Schröder emphasizes the need for mass decarbonization within the building sector on a never-before-seen scale and magnitude. “The technology and the capital are available, but the market simply lacks execution capacity when it comes to the installation of climate protection technology,” he further explained. “Instead, the execution is left to a fragmented market of thousands of small companies, which not only lack resources and skilled labor but most importantly a holistic strategy to connect all decentral assets into an Internat-of-Thing set-up.”

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1Komma5° is not the only European player trying to build or secure installation capacity on a bigger scale. In Germany, with a particularly fragmented market so far, it is obvious that investment money is flowing now into the sector. For example, some manufacturers and utilities are investing in regional operations to have better control of the markets for their components. Others, like Berlin-based Enpal, are building up installation capacities themselves.

The new units of 1Komma5° all report strong growth targets, which are made possible by the new parent company's growth capital. “What convinced us, next to its unique strategy and ambition, is that we as founders and shareholders received a re-participation in 1Komma5°, thus remaining part of the story,” explained Gunnar Jönsson, CEO and co-founder of Cellsolar. “Also Cellsolar is now financed to not only achieve its growth targets but to simultaneously acquire specialized electrician and installation companies in Sweden, Denmark and Finland to increase our capacity, improve cost for our customers and gain control of the relevant aspects of our value chain.”

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