This startup that makes it easier to design solar projects just raised $100 million. Check out the 9-slide pitch deck PVcase used to raise the fresh funds.
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- PVcase, a software startup making it easier and faster to design solar projects, just raised $100 million.
- The Lithuanian startup’s Series B comes from Highland Europe, Energize Ventures and Elephant VC.
- We got a peek inside the 9-slide redacted pitch deck it used to raise the funds.
A solar design software startup has just raised $100 million in fresh funds.
Lithuanian startup PVcase, which was founded in 2018, helps engineers plan and design solar energy projects via its software-as-a-service 3D modeling platform. The startup spun out of a solar consultancy where it was built and used in-house.
Solar capacity is set to surpass coal in 2027, becoming the energy source with the greatest capacity in the world. Generation increased 26% in 2022, to 1300 terawatt-hours . One terawatt-hour is enough to light over one million homes for a year.
Cofounder and CEO Deividas Trainavicius has worked in solar since 2009. As the market rode legislative tailwinds and took advantage of subsidies, he noted how land where it was “easy” to develop solar projects was snapped up.
The continued growth of solar meant that it’s increasingly complex to develop big projects, Trainavicius said. Their design depends on the terrain and topography, whether it’s next to mountains or valleys, and the track of the sun.
“You need to spend more time 3D modeling, and that did not exist seven, eight, years ago,” he said. “So we just took that opportunity and created software that’s really adaptable, and takes into account complexity.”
The startup, which claims to be easier, cheaper, and faster than traditional design methods, already works in over 80 countries. Project developers import data on a potential solar site’s environment and use the platform to run design simulations on top of that. The designs are geo-referenced, which can be used in construction.
Designs are conventionally drawn by engineers and each potential site will have up to ten iterations, Trainavicius said. “It just takes so much time.”
“Software automates all that. You can run 100,000 simulations at the same time and find the one that increases your project ROI by several percent,” he said.
“This gives a huge advantage because you can design more power plants, you can build faster, you can design faster, you can be more accurate, your procurement process is completely different because you have accurate data coming from the software.”
PVcase doesn’t want to automate engineers out of the process but to help them work smarter and remove human errors.
The Series B funding, which comes from Highland Europe, Energize Ventures, and Elephant VC, brings the company’s total raised to $123 million. It took between four and six months to close the round.
It will use the fresh funds to grow its services, with the goal of creating an end-to-end platform to serve the full life-cycle of a solar project, from finding the best sites to providing an itemized list of construction components. This would save engineers even more time because they wouldn’t have to migrate – and potentially lose – data from different platforms, Trainavicius said. PVcase could also include maintenance features when solar projects are up and running, such as predictive fixes.
Trainavicius has ambitious growth goals despite the dampened market. Currently a team of 200, the cofounder plans to double this but said he still has profitability in mind. This strategy struck a chord with investors, he said.
Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act also incentives US solar manufacturing, which has led to customers planning bigger solar plants, Trainavicius said.
“I’m super excited to be in this industry and see how it’s changed throughout the year. I started in 2009, technology was completely different,” he said. “What’s changed the most is not advancement of tech – that’s huge, of course –, but the mindset of people. Renewable energy used to be a nice to have, now it’s a must have.”
Check out the redacted pitch deck below.