HELMOND, Automotive Campus, March 2022 – As sustainable transportation becomes a priority requirement of the industry, solar mobility is making its way into truck fleets around Europe. IM Efficiency has recently launched its SolarOnTop technology to reduce trucks’ fuel consumption with more than 5% and now closed a seed funding round to finance its growth. Rockstart, TechFund One, and existing investors participated in the fundraising round, forming a knowledgeable syndicate for the tech scale-up. In addition to raising the seed funding, IM Efficiency is participating in the Rockstart Energy spring 2022 program, aiming to accelerate the organization even more.
Electricity is an important aspect of today's trucks, even in conventional diesel fuel and LNG powered trucks. Heavy-duty vehicles consume a large amount of electricity, which is generated by the alternator. This is a very inefficient process while driving the truck, which becomes even worse when the truck is idling with the sole use of generating electricity. The SolarOnTop supplies the truck with green electricity from the solar panels. When driving, decreasing the load on the engine lowers fuel consumption. Additionally, it becomes unnecessary to idle to generate electricity. The intelligent energy management system that IM Efficiency developed can also charge electric appliances in the semi-trailer, like pallet trucks, tail lifts, and air compressors.
IM Efficiency closed the seed funding round in the early days of this year and will be using the raised funds to scale up sales and production of the SolarOnTop, while continuing the development of the solar technology. The vision of Rockstart aligns with that of IM Efficiency in the core, namely focusing on driving the energy transition. Rockstart is investing in early stage startups innovating in renewable energy generation and energy efficiency. The organization launched an energy fund in 2020, now at €27M+ to support this.
Max ter Horst, Managing Partner Energy, Rockstart: “IM Efficiency’s solar technology for trucks are addressing the urgent need of the transportation sector to become more sustainable. Their pilots on trucks under real-life conditions were very successful and resulted in significantly lower fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions. The company is now preparing for large-scale commercialization of its product, supported by Rockstart investments and its ecosystem of mentors, experts and investors.”
Another investor that participated in the Seed round is TechFund One. TechFund One invests in market driven potentially successful Dutch tech companies, with a scalable new product, process, or service recently introduced to the market, and realizing first turnover. "SolarOnTop and its promising impact on CO₂-footprint reduction fits perfect with our fund; we are impressed by the inspired team and the proven benefits to reduce costs in logistics", said Peter van Meerbergen, Investment Director TechFund One. Earlier investors in IM Efficiency, with backgrounds in logistics and transportation regulations, also participated in this funding round, seeing high potential for the clean technology in the coming decade.
The spring ’22 edition of the Rockstart Energy program has started this month. IM Efficiency is participating in the program to support her scaling activities and build the optimal organization with the help of proven expertise. “Thanks to being part of the Rockstart accelerator program, we can scale up our company much more smoothly. We’ve doubled our team size recently and are starting commercial expansion of the SolarOnTop, which brings new challenges. The very experienced people in the Rockstart program help to guide us through these exciting, but crucial times. Being part of the program is inspiring to everyone at IM Efficiency!”, says Martijn Ildiz, CEO of IM Efficiency. In the past, IM Efficiency was one of the winners of the Dutch Mobility Lab program and one of the top finalists of Cleantech Camp, taking place on the Iberian peninsula.
With the technology of IM Efficiency, trailers become mobile solar parks, reducing more costs and emissions than solar panels that are connected to the grid. With a break-even period of approximately 3 years, there is a very positive business case to reduce truck’s carbon pollution with onboard solar energy. With the commercial scale-up of the SolarOnTop, IM Efficiency is well underway to solarize the European logistics industry and help meet the ambitious carbon targets market players have set.
IM Efficiency stands for an affordable, reliable, and sustainable future in the world of logistics. The company develops technologies that disrupt the energy management of trucks and trailers. Using clean and renewable energy sources within the (semi-) trailer, its innovations decrease the carbon emissions of the complete vehicle. Since the start of IM Efficiency, the scale-up has been studying energy consumption in heavy-duty vehicles and established key partnerships to innovate this market. Regarded worldwide as a key player in solar innovation for vehicles, IM Efficiency provides every fleet operator with the opportunity to reduce carbon emissions with the ‘free’ power of the sun.
Rockstart is an early stage investor that empowers purpose-driven founders across three domains: Energy, AgriFood and Emerging Technologies. Rockstart invests in early-stage startups and provides access to capital, market, and expertise by connecting founders with co-investors, mentors, partners, corporates and the wider Rockstart network.
Rockstart has invested in more than 260 startups and its alumni value to date is more than $1bn. Rockstart is an international team of 40+ professionals dedicated to empowering purpose-driven founders to become scalable and drive positive change on a global scale. Rockstart has notable exits such as Wercker, Bouw7, iClinic, and in 2021, 3D Hubs and Brincr. The company has offices in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Copenhagen, Denmark and Bogota, Colombia.
TechFund One, initiated by investors from the Investormatch network, invests in Dutch tech companies with a scalable business case and on their way to a series A. After the first turnover has been realized, commercial acceleration is crucial. Due to the broad and deep experience of the investors behind TechFund One, we feel at home at this challenging lifecycle stage.