One of the most rewarding moments of our work at Rockstart is seeing purpose-driven founders succeed and witnessing their journey from early-stage to growth. So today we are excited to announce that Rockstart alumnus Sympower has raised a €5.2 million Series B round.
When we met Sympower CEO Simon Bushell in 2016, Simon had recently graduated with an MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures from Imperial College London. After working in London for nine months, Simon quit his job and moved to Estonia to start Sympower together with Georg Rute. Despite his technical training, Simon did not always have a clearly entrepreneurial profile. He came from an academic background, but his passion for solving climate change inspired him to start his own company to fuel the energy transition: Sympower.
Sympower is a demand-response specialist that uses flexibility to power the energy transition. They combine hardware and software to provide an end-to-end solution that stabilizes energy grids and offers real-time monitoring and balancing of electricity supply and demand.
In a recent interview on the Leaders in Cleantech podcast, Simon shared that joining Rockstart played a significant role in lending structure to the company and leading them to their first investment rounds.
“[…] I think one of the main things that Rockstart gave us was structure,” he explains. “In the beginning of a startup you have all sorts of ideas, you have all sorts of things you want to try, but at some point, you need to start getting into a bit more of a rhythm of how we’re going to approach this and you know, strategy, business model all those sorts of things […] And the second thing was the network that we got there, that was also really important, and eventually our first investment round came from people we met during that program.”
Now, five years after its founding, Sympower has raised a €5.2 million Series B round, led by Kees Koolen together with existing investors Rubio Impact Ventures, PDENH, Enfuro Ventures and Casper Peeters. The multi-million funding round is also remarkable because Sympower is the first software company in the clean energy space to receive investment from Kees Koolen, the former CEO and Chairman of Booking.com as well as an early investor and international expansion advisor of Uber.
The investment comes at a critical point in the energy transition and reflects the increasingly urgent demand for flexibility solutions. With an increasingly unstable supply from solar and wind sources plus demand from e-mobility and electric heating, technology such as Sympower’s is crucial to the success of the energy transition – it balances supply and demand, assisting with the maintenance of a stable electricity system. The funding will allow Sympower to enter new European markets and to strengthen its existing role as an independent flexibility provider in countries where it is already active.
With regards to the funding round, Simon commented: “Raising our Series B funding marks an important milestone in Sympower’s journey and will help our mission to accelerate the global energy transition. Last year saw a real boom in renewables and a stronger regulatory push from the European Union, meaning now is the perfect time to increase our capabilities and European reach. Flexibility is vital for the energy transition and will play a crucial role in a fully renewable energy system that forms the basis of a sustainable world. We’re delighted to welcome Kees and his team at Koolen Industries and look forward to drawing on his experience of quickly and successfully scaling companies.”
Congratulations to the Sympower team on this exceptional achievement. We are proud to be a part of their journey and wish them continued success!