Porsche's venture arm has taken a minority stake in 1Komma5°, a five-month-old German startup aiming to offer households everything needed for a carbon neutral home, including energy storage, charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and solar.
The investment, the amount of which was not disclosed, follows a series of deals made by Porsche Ventures in the past two years, including Israel-based sensing technology startup TriEye, online electric micromobility dealership RidePanda and virtual sensing startup Tactile Mobility.
This investment is a bit of a departure from Porsche Ventures' typical mobility tech play.
"With this investment, we want to underline our ambition in the area of smart city and sustainability," Patrick Huke, head of Porsche Ventures Europe and Israel told TechCrunch.
The Hamburg, Germany startup was founded by Micha Grueber, who is the CFO, and Philipp Schröder, whose previous stints were at Tesla and energy storage systems company Sonnen.
The company — its name a nod to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement to keep the increase of global temperatures down to 1.5°C — is taking an interesting route to its one-stop shop goal.
Today, companies are all focused on selling the components such as solar or energy storage, Schröder said in a recent interview. At the same time, no one in Europe is focused on bringing together these decentralized assets. That is bound to cause problems, Schröder contends.
"There will be issues in a decentralized energy world if every home is having a heat pump and a charge point and storage system and they do not communicate on the grid level (or with each other) there will be issues," he said.
1Komma5° is aiming to bring everything together through its software as well as acquisitions. Specifically, 1Komma5° is seeking to buy leading electrical installation companies in Germany — and will eventually expand to other countries such as Austria and Switzerland — that focus on renewable energies such as solar, heat pumps and energy storage. 1Komma5° provides the enterprise software for these companies to handle administrative tasks and customer-relationship management as well as energy management software that ties the charging, solar and energy storage together.
What makes 1Komma5°'s business interesting is its plan to interconnect these components like solar and energy storage at home level and at the grid level, Schröder said.
The startup has made five acquisitions so far through cash and stock deals.
The young startup has grand ambitions to use €100 million in cash and stock over the next to two years to acquire more of these renewable energy-focused installation companies. It's targeting installation companies that have revenue between €5 million and €20 million and skilled labor — not sales outfits that simply outsource to other contractors.
The funding from Porsche will be used to to help 1Komma5° expand, a plan that includes opening retail locations that embody a premium Apple design-like vibe where potential customers can learn about the essential building blocks of a carbon neutral home. Customers to these stores might see a Porsche Taycan next to a home charger, energy storage and solar, for instance.
The first showrooms are planned at Hamburg's Binnenalster and in Lingen an der Ems and are expected to open in the first quarter of 2022.
Porsche doesn't have any immediate plans to offer 1Komma5° products to its own customer base. However, as Huke noted, Porsche Ventures makes strategic investments and it will be looking at different possibilities in the medium to long term.