SolarMente: The Spanish photo voltaic self-consumption firm that was born in a grasp's diploma and wherein Leonardo DiCaprio has invested | Business | EUROtoday

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Leonardo DiCaprio and Hollywood, a well-known mixture that on this event has nothing to do with the seventh artwork, however with the extra political aspect of the American actor. A satisfied environmental activist, in 1998 he created the inspiration that bears his title to advertise tasks that defend variety or the seek for options in opposition to local weather change. Here he got here throughout SolarMente, an organization based 4 years in the past by Wouter Draijer and Victor Gardrinier, which promotes a subscription mannequin for photovoltaic self-consumption that features set up, upkeep and insurance coverage, in order that customers and clients can produce, retailer and market their very own power with out the necessity for an preliminary outlay.

The story of SolarMente started in 2020 when Draijer arrived in Spain from the Netherlands to check a grasp's diploma and seen the scarcity of panels in a spot the place the solar is the protagonist of lots of his days. “In my country one in three houses has solar panels, in Spain one in every hundred,” he says. A context that led him to discover the market and arrange an organization that will handle this sector.

He joined forces with Gardrinier and, with their financial savings, they launched SolarMente with the intention of constructing it straightforward for individuals who wish to take the step in changing to sustainable power, as a result of, as he explains, in Spain this power change is gradual and sophisticated for shoppers, with a mean of 4 to 6 months of procedures and greater than 30 interactions (emails, calls or messages) between customers and the businesses that provide the service.

With 50 staff at present and three million euros in turnover final yr, SolarMente gives, along with its subscription system, batteries, charging factors for electrical autos or a warmth pump system. It just lately launched a digital battery service so customers can retailer extra photo voltaic power for later use or to share with different houses or companies.

They perform about 120 installations every month, particularly in Catalonia, Valencia and Madrid, and their forecasts level to greater than 10,000 within the subsequent two and a half years, along with opening workplaces in Madrid and Malaga that can be added to these in Barcelona, ​​Valencia and Alicante. They additionally plan the worldwide launch of SolarMente for 2025 with Portugal and France as the primary European locations and a particular plan for the tip of subsequent yr in Latin America. “First we have to finish the expansion in Spain and then reach other countries,” says Draijer.

A push from the US

The ambition of this firm led them to search for a robust investor who cared about bettering the atmosphere, however they didn’t wish to knock on simply any door. “We had been thinking about names like DiCaprio or Barack Obama and, being part of the North American accelerator Y Combinator, we knew that one of the founders had a relationship with this North American actor. We contacted him and in October of last year we had our first interview in Hollywood. In just four months we had already reached an agreement,” explains Draijer. He says that the assembly was very particular, with a fluid dialog, and that it didn’t price them something to hitch the mission.

In March of this yr they closed the funding (they don’t give the determine concerned on this collaboration), which is the primary in Spain straight from the protagonist of Titanic. It was finalized in a one-year settlement that has lastly been prolonged to a few. “He has become an investor and brand ambassador. We talk to him every six months to tell him about the growth of the company,” says Draijer.

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