Solar for Schools is a social impact, internet based business enabling schools to generate their own solar energy. The award winning company is backed by experienced investors and the Low Carbon Innovation fund. The team now manages around 10,000 solar panels on 47 schools and with about 50 school enquiries a month, funding is now required to develop the software platform further and scale up.
Watch our pitch video here:
From initial assessment to long term solar asset management, we de-risk the entire process for schools and investors, whilst cutting carbon emissions, saving schools money and educating the next generation on living sustainably.
Our goal is to create a scalable online platform covering all the steps required for a school to go solar from planing to financing. Globally we calculate that schools in viable location could host £100bn in solar assets which would cut carbon emissions by 50m tonnes a year.
Launched in early 2015, we now manage systems on 47 schools in the UK, totalling 2.8MW. We are about to start building the 8 projects closed in the first half of this year and are receiving ~50 enquiries/registrations a month, which based on 1/10 conversion rate, will lead us to break even within 12 months. We soft launched in Germany, our second country in mid 2015 and have verbal on our first project.
We earn an initial fee from each solar panel system facilitated and an ongoing fee for managing them on behalf of the school and investors. For every pound deployed on solar via Solar for Schools we will earn about 1 pound in fees over the lifetime of the project. Schools will save/earn between 1 and 2 pounds (UK) over the same period. Based on £100bn of total assets, the annual total addressable market is £5-10bn over the next decade or so.
Following a £160k UKP seed round led by the Low Carbon Innovation Fund and a number of Internet focused VC’s in a personal capacity, we are now seeking 400-600 UKP in funding to further develop our systems into a scalable, transparent and trusted platform ultimately capable of attracting and managing up to £100bn of funding for solar assets on schools worldwide.
Separately we will raise £1-1.2m this year to fund the construction of the solar assets secured and to be built this year. These will be held in a Community Benefit society so that any surplus profits (less a performance success fee to us) will be shared with the schools. For this we require long term investors interested in 4-6% annual interest.
Solar Options for Schools Ltd was co-founded by Robert Schrimpff who combines 10 years of building online businesses including hotels.com and nearly 9 years of Cleantech Venture Capital experience, including leading the investments and sitting on the boards of two solar companies; Lumicity (uk solar project developer sold to RWE) and TenKsolar (intelligent module manufacturer that just raised 25m from Goldman Sachs). Martin Augustin (Co-founder & COO) who has worked with Robert before and has 10 years renewable consultancy and project development experience (Eon, RES projects) and Ted Scheidegger (CFO) who ran Siemens Solar and a number of solar startups in the past. Our head of sales has successfully sold funded solar to 250 schools in the last 5 years.
We won the Sustainability Initiative Award at the Rushlight conference recently and were shortlisted for the Guardian’s Sustainable start up of the year award.