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Solar Monkey

Problem

To facilitate growth that can meet sustainability targets, solar energy needs to become more affordable, attractive and available. Prices of hardware have dropped significantly, but there is still much to win in decreasing design and acquisition costs. Many installers work with old fashioned tools that require expensive preliminary site visits. Although solar energy is a hot topic that draws much interest from consumers, many are still hesitant to invest and on average 8 offers go out for a single sale. Hence installation companies seek innovation to increase efficiency and their unique selling points.

Solution

With Solar Monkey’s web-based software installers can design a solar system remotely within a minute. A unique combination of aerial imagery and LiDAR height data enables very accurate, automated calculations and custom, substantiated quotes. Installers decrease their total cost of acquisition by ~25%, gaining a competitive advantage. We are in the process of fully automating the design of PV systems, eliminating more manual labor and generating higher volumes of offers. To further establish trust from consumers we offer a guaranteed energy yield and support after-sales by monitoring installed systems, making solar more secure and attractive. In the process large amounts of data are gathered, enabling new future business models regarding the integration of solar into smart grids.

Uniqueness, Technology overview, barriers to competition

We have the knowledge and skills to process aerial imagery and height data necessary for automated solar design and monitoring. This is currently freely available in The Netherlands, and is becoming more accessible worldwide. Our technological advantage in processing this data gives us a head start in areas where it becomes available.

Market size and analysis

The installed base of PV worldwide has grown from 30 GWp to 400 GWp in 8 years and is predicted by the IEA to have grown tenfold by 2050. In The Netherlands 120k solar systems are installed annually, for which over 600k designs are made. Solar Monkey’s target in NL is to facilitate 100k systems designs (€400k revenue) and monitor 9,000 systems (€1M) per year. Solar Monkey seeks to expand to six other countries with a total addressable market of €150M and obtainable market of €12M that we aim to achieve by 2021.

Traction

Since the product launch in June 2016 our client base has grown to over 75 installers, including the best-known Dutch energy supplier. In addition we have an integration with the Dutch largest wholesaler of solar system parts as an extra sales channel. To date our client retention has been 100%. In total we have facilitated 40,000 solar system designs and monitor over 1000 systems. We operate at a run rate of €300k annual revenue (70% recurring) and have displayed an average month-over- month growth rate of 10% in 2017.

Core Team

First Name Last Name Job Title Impressive Facts
Jan Pieter Versluijs CEO MSc TU Delft, founded and sold multiple SME’s, senior consultant at Newton Europe before starting Solar Monkey with Mels.
Mels van Hoolwerff CFO & HR MSc TU Delft, graduated on the modelling of solar power output.
Tino de Bruijn CTO MSc TU Delft, 10+ years experience in developing software, graduated from Industrial Design on creating a user friendly electronic health record application.

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