In this Research Note, we examine UrbanVolt, a clean energy partner for small to medium-sized commercial and industrial businesses that specialises in the provision of energy-efficient lighting and solar panels, without the burden of upfront costs.
Founded in 2015 in Dublin, Irish Republic, UrbanVolt gained an early foothold in the LED Lighting-as-a-Service sector. Instead of charging upfront for the equipment, the company takes a share of the cash that its customers save on their electricity bills as payment over time. In its first year of operation, the startup completed 100 LED lighting upgrades, which it claimed would save clients over €20 million.
In December 2017, the firm launched its Solar as a Service offering “to help take 1 in 5 clients off the grid”. UrbanVolt’s model involves financing, installing, and maintaining solar panels for customers, enabling the customer to buy solar-generated electricity at ~40% lower cost than an electricity provider’s rates.
In March 2018, the company announced that it was entering the US market, having raised additional funding of €2.5 million from private investors. The company intends to initially set up bases in Florida and Chicago, from where it will begin supplying to clients that include multinationals whose Irish subsidiaries it began servicing over the last two years.
Urban Volt has targeted smaller and medium-sized businesses trading in the Irish Republic, and now also has multinational clients, which have paved the way to expansion into other markets in the US and Europe.
The business has signed agreements with more than 150 businesses in Ireland and the UK. Their clients include brewing company Heineken, pharmaceutical company Pfizer, medical device manufacturer Zimmer Biomet, and global supply chain solution-provider Syncreon. The company has operations in Ireland, UK, the United States and in eight European markets. 35 employees are listed in Dublin on Linkedin.
Recent UrbanVolt Investment & Expansion
In August 2023, UrbanVolt announced a €26 million investment from European specialist growth investor, Verdane. This investment means the company has raised over €200 million in debt and equity to date, and it will further power UrbanVolt’s rapid solar energy expansion in the Irish, UK and European markets.
Reed Snyder, Principal at Verdane said: “UrbanVolt fills a critical gap in the market, providing Power Purchase Agreements that enable the underserved SME sector to access solar energy without the burden of upfront costs."
This article was written by Daphne Tomlinson, Senior Research Associate at Memoori.