Persistent is proud to announce an investment in Hohm Energy – an online marketplace that streamlines the solar acquisition process for residential and commercial customers with a “one-stop shop”.
The solar system market offers greener, more reliable solutions for households and companies that are still not served by a reliable electrical source. Hohm Energy’s platform offers a broad clientele the opportunity to find, install and finance the most suitable options for them. With a great number of people converting to a more climate friendly energy solution, the positive environmental and social impact of the company is very promising.
As Africa’s leading Climate Venture Builder, Persistent leads innovation in the climate space by starting and investing in innovative businesses like Hohm Energy. Persistent’s pre-seed investment will support Hohm Energy with growth capital to fuel its innovative technological development and grow operations to the next level.
Founded in 2021 by South African energy entrepreneur Tim Ohlsen, Hohm Energy aims to accelerate the renewable energy transition by making the solar experience simpler, faster and more affordable for consumers. The team had a unique insight from Tim’s previous company, ELDO, where they built a solar installation business in 2013 and developed a sales tool to scale their own business by automating workflows of Solar Home Systems (SHS) installations. The team took this early stage software tool and built it into a marketplace platform, spinning it out of ELDO. Hohm Energy started operating with this platform in June 2021 and ran a successful closed-beta pilot with Investec Private Bank in South Africa which ended in December 2021.
Hohm Energy´s marketplace arranges accredited solar providers, product suppliers and financiers for each customer. Its full package solution streamlines the process of bringing SHS to people’s homes: in 5 minutes, Hohm’s platform allows each customer to design his or her own system and find a suitable installer to fit his or her specific needs and budget. Hohm’s Energy Advisors guide users through the selection and contracting process, overseeing installation process, offering affordable service plans and providing financing. The company has just started to open its services to commercial and industrial businesses converting to renewable power. Initially launched in South Africa, Hohm Energy has ambitious plans to build a global network, offering its one-stop solution in other countries across Africa and beyond.
Persistent’s Managing Partner Tobias Ruckstuhl says: “We have studied the residential and small businesses solar opportunity in South Africa for quite a while. There is massive opportunity to bring clean, reliable solar power as an alternative to fossil fuel based and unreliable grid power. We believe Tim and the Hohm Energy team have found a model to “crack” this opportunity and are excited to build Hohm with them from the earliest stages, not only in South Africa, but across the continent. We think our investment in Hohm will have a significant positive climate impact and contribute to Africa’s clean energy transition.”
Hohm is working with financiers to help them expand their offer of green solar financing to their customers. In the future, Hohm seeks to partner with other actors like property managers, utility companies, and insurance providers to distribute solar systems into their client bases. The company is experiencing a surge in user activity, conducting hundreds of site visits per month across its network. Hohm will be going out to raise its seed round next month to sustain its current growth rates and to aid South Africans in managing the worst year of load shedding yet.
Hohm’s CEO Tim Ohlsen says: “At Hohm, we believe that everyone should benefit from renewable energy, so we are taking a tech-first approach to make solar more accessible. With our mission to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy in the fight against climate change, it is critical to have the right partners on our side to achieve this objective. From the first engagement with the Persistent team, we immediately felt alignment with their passion for the energy transition in Africa and recognized their ability to assist our mission at this early stage. We are humbled and incredibly excited to work with Persistent”
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