Metergrid, a Stuttgart-based power pioneer that helps landlords become power producers, has announced a €2.7 million seed round. The round was led by 468 Capital, with participation from VC firm Tiny Supercomputer Investment Company, the recently established Mätch VC in Baden-Württermberg, and footballer Mario Götze. The startup wants to turn four million landlords into decentralised energy producers to help them increase the return on their investment, save their tenants money, and drive the change to green energy.
Simplifying the energy for a complex market
Private renting is a key part of the German housing market. More than half the population, around 44 million people, rent their homes privately. But the market is also highly fragmented, most landlords will only own one or two properties. It means that Germany’s landlords often lack the scale needed to do much besides support their property.
However, this has not changed the wider policy shift. Regions like Baden-Württermberg, Hamburg, and Berlin have all added to the demands on landlords by requiring solar installations on new buildings, while state and federal regulations are pushing a drive towards sustainability. It means that, even when these do not directly impact a property or landlord, they can shift the expectations and demands of tenants, who are aware not just of the level of rent they pay, but also the impact their rental decision might have on the environment.
The difficulty in making these changes in a highly fragmented market are behind Metergrid’s mission. “The energy transition requires decentralised solutions,” said Julian Schulz, Metergrid founder and managing director. “To achieve our ambitious climate goals, we must engage multi-apartment building residents throughout Europe. Our intelligent solutions span the entire value chain and aim to transform the market.”
Metergrid’s solution offers an easy way for both landlords and tenants to take advantage of energy production. Their SaaS platform integrates with current systems to provide an end-to-end solution. In effect, it turns landlords into small power companies, who are can leverage Metergrid’s system to manage the whole process and provide an additional revenue stream from a property.
The landlord retains ownership and responsibility for equipment in their property, but Metergrid brings it all together in a single platform that takes care of measurement, administration, and billing, even the contracts between the landlord and tenant. Metergrid will even handle the complex transactions with the national grid. This ensures that sufficient energy is always available, even on low-production days, but that any surplus energy is sold to the grid to meet shortfalls elsewhere, benefiting landlord and tenants.
An ambition to power Germany
The current Metergrid team is just ten people, all working remotely in Stuttgart and Hamburg. However, they have already seen a strong start since entering the market just one-and-a-half years ago. Heading towards a seven-figure annual turnover, they are on target to supply 25,000 tenants with green electricity by the end of 2024.
The funding will be used to scale their operations as they work towards bringing affordable and decentralised green energy to the 22 million rental apartments contained in 3.4 million separate properties in Germany.
And they have ambitious plans. “Metergrid provides a scalable solution for landlords, tenants and solar installers,” says co-managing director, Johannes Mews. “By 2028, we want to equip six million multi-apartment buildings.”
Bardo Droege, of 468 Capital, will also join the advisory board, and commenting, “Johannes and Julian are an outstanding founding team with not only experience and vision, but also excellent execution skills.”
Metergrid says their solution offers benefits for everyone. Landlords, instead of struggling to manage their own energy systems, can instead expect a return between 6% to 15% on their investment. Renters can expect energy unit costs that are around 10% to 30% lower than sourcing energy direct from the grid. And by helping support the drive to green energy, it has a positive environmental impact. A combination that Metergrid hopes will help them continue their growth by providing a win-win-win for owners, tenants, and society as a whole.
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