IM Efficiency raises seed round from BOM and Rockstart to accelerate the use of solar energy in road freight transportation
Amsterdam, May 16, 2023: Rockstart, global early stage VC and accelerator, announces its co-investment in IM Efficiency, a Rockstart Energy portfolio company. The seed round was led by Brabant Development Agency (BOM), alongside Rockstart and other informal investors. With the new funding, IM Efficiency plans to accelerate the growth of SolarOnTop – the startup’s onboard solar technology designed for trucks and trailers, to scale up the production of the SolarOnTop and to develop new solar products.
As sustainability becomes a growing priority in the transportation industry, the demand for onboard solar technology solutions is rapidly increasing. With 150,000 semi-trailers in the Netherlands alone and an estimated several million within the European Union, the truck and trailer market presents significant growth opportunities (sources CBS and the European Commission).
IM Efficiency is one of the leading players in the European market for solar-powered trucks and trailers, having already established a strong presence in markets such as Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium, with over 25 satisfied customers. As heavy-duty trucks require expensive and Polluting methods of generating electricity, IM Efficiency tackled this issue with SolarOnTop, an onboard solar technology that generates electricity from solar panels. The SolarOnTop already reduces 1.000-3.000+ liters of diesel fuel annually per truck since its market introduction in 2022. When the truck is parked, the technology powers the cabin's electronics, eliminating the need for idling and reducing fuel consumption. It also powers electrical appliances and reduces load on the alternator while the truck is in motion. In several use cases, SolarOnTop supplies the semi-trailer with the electric power it requires, making the trailer reliable in logistics operations and independent from the tractor unit. With the intelligent energy management system, energy is delivered efficiently, resulting in significant fuel savings and a reduction in CO2 emissions. The innovative scale-up is extending these features to electric trucks, extending the drivable electric range due to the power of the sun. IM Efficiency's solution benefits the environment and offers financial benefits to fleets and the transportation industry.
The IM Efficiency team has worked hard at proving the benefit of onboard solar energy within the logistics industry, while eagerly learning about the use cases and applications from our passionate customers. With a market and society that is increasingly focusing on transitioning to sustainable transportation technologies, completing this seed round has enabled IM Efficiency to take the next step and turn hundreds of trucks into mobile solar parks within a short time span. We strongly believe that the trailer is key to low-carbon transportation and with knowledgeable investors onboard we are now in the position to bring our next-gen technologies to the market and reduce CO₂ emissions even further. Stay tuned for exciting features IM Efficiency will be rolling out!Martijn Ildiz, Chief Executive Officer, IM Efficiency
IM Efficiency accelerates the energy transition with its innovative ‘SolarOnTop‘ technology through which energy savings and carbon emissions reduction are achieved. Their solution is a real game changer with a lot of potential. It fits very well in our aim to make Brabant energy neutral. We see that IM Efficiency makes a positive contribution to the already strong mobility ecosystem in Brabant centered around the Automotive Campus, through their technology and cooperation with local companies. Recently IM Efficiency joined forces with Dutch solar companies to bring back photovoltaic manufacturing to the Netherlands through the SolarNL project and ASOM, alongside other BOM portfolio companies such as Taylor and Lightyear layer.Ingrid Nieweg, Investment Manager BOM
IM Efficiency makes truck logistics more sustainable by providing easy-to-integrate PV solar systems mounted on trailer roofs. Their solution significantly reduces fuel costs on auxiliary uses such as pneumatic systems, while increasing the reliability of trailer operations as onboard batteries are constantly being charged. It also enables transport companies to comply with ever-stringent EU regulations on CO₂ emissions for the transport sector. Rockstart is excited to participate in this funding round enabling IM Efficiency to further scale their business and extend their technological leadership.Max ter Horst, Managing Partner Energy, Rockstart
The Rockstart Energy fund is Rockstart’s second fund launched in 2020 and has 34 portfolio companies to date. The Rockstart Energy portfolio companies have collectively raised more than €50m in total thus far.
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.
Entrepreneurship is the driver of innovation. From sustainable food sources to a healthy future, climate-neutral energy, and developing promising key technologies. The Brabant Development Agency (BOM) ensures that startups playing a role in these fields receive the right support and funding to get off to a flying start and grow into scaleups, and that companies that aspire to go global can actually do so. Every year, BOM works with dozens of companies to create this impact. BOM is an executive body of the Province of Brabant and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy..