Investment companies SET Ventures, FORWARD.one and Korys are investing in the Utrecht-based climate scale-up Sensorfact. Sensorfact helps companies in the manufacturing industry to save up to 15% on energy bills with intelligent energy management and energy-saving advice.
In an earlier investment round in 2021, Sensorfact managed to raise 3.7 million euros from, among others, FORWARD.one and Korys, the investment company set up by the Belgian business family Colruyt. Now SET Ventures also joins forces with the Utrecht-based scale-up. SET Ventures is known for its focus on the energy transition.
Sensorfact, founded in 2016, developed an Intelligent Energy Management System (IEMS). With this plug-and-play hardware and software, industrial SMEs can easily access and monitor their energy consumption in detail, reduce it with targeted actions and integrate it into increasingly strict energy reports. Sensorfact has more than 600 customers in more than 25 countries in Europe: mainly in the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and Germany. Sensorfact currently employs over 70 people.
Regulations and energy prices
In July last year, the European Commission presented the ‘fit for 55’ package, which aims to achieve a CO2 reduction of 55% in 2030 compared to levels in 1990. As a result, companies have to deal with increasingly strict regulations. Energy prices have also risen sharply in the past year, reaching a record high last December.
“The energy bill is one of the largest costs that companies in the manufacturing industry are facing, especially with current energy prices”, says CEO Pieter Broekema. “In addition, due to the wide interest in climate change, there are an increasing number of European regulations that companies have to comply with. With our technology, companies can kill these two birds with one stone.”
Broekema continues: “Companies often lack proper insight into their energy consumption, which is necessary to reduce consumption and thus comply with regulations. We start by supplying our measuring equipment, which customers can easily install themselves, and which provides insight into the data. Our industry-specific algorithms then help identify energy savings. These findings are complemented by our energy experts, who help with implementation.”
How the capital will be used
The capital raised will be used for further product development and for expansion into the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). An office in Berlin was opened this year to facilitate this growth area.
Julia Padberg, Principal of SET Ventures states: “We have known Pieter and his team for years and have been impressed with the recent progress made in quickly convincing customers within the target group and thereby making a real contribution to energy-efficiency. SET is very excited about making Sensorfact a European leader.”
“From the very beginning, we have been very enthusiastic about Pieter and his team, the growth they realize and the impact they create with their energy insight and advice,” says Frederik Gerner, Partner at FORWARD.one. “We have therefore entered this round as an existing investor offering full support and are looking forward to the next step in Sensorfact’s growth.”
“We are very pleased with Sensorfact’s ability to offer their solutions in new markets as well as with the continuous improvement and expansion of their products,” says Loïc de Schaetzen, Investment Director at Korys. “We are also convinced that the company still has significant growth potential, which we at Korys want to continue to support.”
So far, the Utrecht-based company has achieved savings of around 100 GWh. This is equivalent to the annual energy consumption of more than 30,000 households. If it’s up to Broekema, that’s just the beginning: “We want to become the largest service provider in industrial energy management. With over 370,000 European SMEs, the market is huge.”
As far as product development is concerned, Sensorfact mainly wants to increase the choice available to its customers. In addition to measuring electricity, gas and water, Sensorfact now also wants to expand to steam and temperature sensors and vibration sensors for predictive maintenance. This will give customers an increasingly comprehensive picture of their energy consumption.
Amsterdam-based SET Ventures has been investing in European technology companies that have an impact on the energy system transition since 2007. SET’s emphasis is on investing in smart service companies in various sectors that are now becoming part of the clean and smart energy system of the future. For more information, see www.setventures.com.
FORWARD.one is a venture capital fund focused on high-tech (mainly hardware) and has been an investor in Sensorfact since 2019. FORWARD.one manages 170 million euros across multiple funds, with investments in robotics, semiconductors, photonics, sensors, virtual/augmented reality, biomanufacturing and audio technology. FORWARD.one was founded by a team of successful businesspeople/engineers and financial professionals with broad experience in private and public markets. For more information, see www.forward.one.
Korys is the investment company set up by the Colruyt family. Today, the company manages assets of more than 5 billion euros. Korys manages interests in private companies and always takes its investment decisions from a long-term perspective, taking into account strict economic (Profit), social (People) and ecological (Planet) criteria. For more information, see www.korys.be