Samara is accelerating the energy transition in Spain one solar panel at a time | TechCrunch

Since the shock of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, solar energy has been having a moment in Europe. Electricity prices have been going up while the investment required to get solar panels installed on your roof has been going down. This is due to new subsidies, better technology and several European startups that are working on streamlining the installation process.

One of the startups driving the energy transition of European households in Southern Europe is Samara, a Spanish company that just raised a €9 million Series A funding round ($9.8M at today’s exchange rate) just two years after it was founded.

“We have now supported more than 1,700 families in their transition both to solar and other energy transition products,” Samara co-founder Manel Pujol told TechCrunch. “Since our launch, in June 2022, we have grown to become what we believe is the fastest growing energy transition company in Spain.”

The startup has spent most of its energy on optimizing the installation process. When potential customers land on Samara’s website they can enter basic information to get a preliminary quote and an estimation of how much they could save with a solar installation.

This seems to be a strong starting point as customers can save as much as 70% on their electricity consumption from the grid — Spain is one of the European countries with the most hours of sunshine after all.

After that, Samara follows up to collect more information and create a personalized installation proposal using the company’s proprietary offer builder. If the customer wants to move forward, Samara handles permitting, procurement and project management. The company has its own teams of project managers and electrical engineers.

When it’s time to actually start installing the solar panels and the inverter, the company has chosen a hybrid strategy with both an in-house team of installers and some third-party partners.

It says this approach has two advantages. First, having an internal installation team has improved the overall product as this team can give feedback and help improve the customer journey. Second, building a marketplace of installers greatly increases Samara’s reach. The company now operates in 75% of the Spanish territory.

Samara’s marketplace is also a competitive advantage as there are more than 1,000 small companies working on solar installations. These small players can’t really offer an end-to-end service. At the same time, Samara can boost their revenue with its own client base.

Iván Cabezuela & Manel Pujol, Samara’s founders.
Image Credits: Samara

In addition to solar installations, Samara offers batteries for homes and electric vehicle chargers. Once you have solar panels on your roof, it makes sense to add a battery to reduce your electricity bill even more. Similarly, as you don’t pay for electricity consumption, an EV charger is a logical next step.

On this front, Samara still has room for growth. “Currently we see a circa 20% attachment rate of these products to our solar projects and a significant opportunity to further develop these products in Spain which still lags significantly behind Germany, UK or Italy in the adoption of batteries and EV chargers,” Pujol said.

Similarly, while 1,700 households contacted Samara for a solar project, there are around six million households in total in Spain. So, on one level, the startup has still barely scratched the surface of the potential to transform household energy provision in its home market.

In Germany, a similar startup Zolar has raised more than $170 million since its creation in 2016. While, in France, the energy renovation company Effy closed a $22M funding round last year after bootstrapping for 15 years because energy renovation has become a hot market for investors.

Samara’s Series A round was led by Green Generation Fund and Move Energy. Ring Capital, Athletico Ventures, and existing investors Seaya and Pelion Green Future also participated. Overall, the startup has raised €15.5M since 2022 ($16.9M).

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