Tibber gives consumers the power
Efficient electricity use, renewable energy, lower bills—there’s an app for that
In her New Year’s speech, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg mentioned very few companies. One of them was the startup Tibber in Førde. In her speech, Solberg said she had recently visited the company and that during the coronavirus pandemic, they have hired 50% more employees. This is one of the companies showing the way!
Tibber, the first fully digital energy company and platform in the world, solves the electricity conundrum. Consumers are urged to save money by reducing electricity use, but electric companies need greater consumption to make money. The consumer-oriented company’s philosophy is “If the best deal for your wallet also is the best deal for the planet—everybody wins.” So, they have created digital tools that give insights about use, enable people to control consumption and be smart consumers with the phone in the palm of their hand.
The company was launched in 2016 by a Swede and a Norwegian, Daniel Lindén and Edgeir Vårdal Aksnes. Both had years of experience working within the energy industry. They set out to fix the electricity use dilemma, “which seems counterintuitive since using less electricity benefits more or less everyone, except the dinosaurs of the industry,” as stated on the Tibber website.
Over 100,000 customers in Sweden, Norway, and Germany have seen their energy bill and consumption reduced each month. Tibber “bills” themselves as the “energy company that actually gives a crap … we won’t ever make a profit on the electricity we use.”
How do they do this? You probably have one electricity supplier for your house. However, there are several suppliers out there that the average customer doesn’t know about; they can’t easily access the marketplace of possible suppliers. Wouldn’t it be smart if you had artificial intelligence in your house that could purchase energy from these producers, including those within the local grid, at the best prices and at the best time of the day? Tibber monitors the lowest electricity prices in real time.
The consumer simply uses an app and is alerted to the best times of the day to use energy at the cheapest prices, sort of like travel sites that generate air fares from numerous websites. The purchasing of power is automatically done by its bots. The consumer receives analytics and an overview of electric consumption throughout the house on the app, so more efficient use can be determined. Plus, only local renewable energy is used.
For example, if the customer needs to charge their electric vehicle, Tibber can tell them the time when the electricity is at it cheapest. Heat can be controlled during the night and when the customer is on vacation. The “power over the power” is in the people’s hands. Using its smart technology, Tibber was able to balance the main power grid in Sweden.
The company’s goal is to “empower a sustainable life for 10 million households in Europe by 2025.” Tibber believes this could be better if customers use 100% renewable electricity and reduce usage by an average of 20%. By using the smart heating in the app, customers on average would use 9.3% less energy. In Sweden, if households used smart heating and reduced the indoor temperature by just 1 degree, there would be a savings of 220,000 MWh per month.
The startup has launched a smart charging feature for Tesla and other electric cars and hybrid systems. They claim that their solution can cut 20% off the charging price compared with the rest of the market. With quadruple revenue last year, they won the Rising Star Vestlandet award. Deloitte gives the award to a company that dares to invest, is innovative, and that succeeds.
At the end of 2019, venture capitalists invested $12 million in the company. According to Tech Crunch, the funding round was led by Founders Fund in San Francisco, known for their early investments in Spotify, Facebook, SpaceX, Palantine, Airbnb, and Stripe. This is their third investment ever in Europe.
The rest of the round came from existing investors, including Wellstreet, BKK, Petter Stordalen, and RFF Vest. Before this round, Tibber had raised $3 million to $4 million. The capital was to be used to expand in Germany. At the time, Aksnes said that “all their customer growth had come by word of mouth. With this funding round complete, we are set to further expand in the Nordics, develop our product and launch Tibber in new markets in Europe.”
Just before Christmas, Tibber closed a $65 million round led by Eight Roads Venture and Balderton Capital, with participation from existing investors, including Founders Fund. Alongside equity, the startup also made an agreement on a flexible loan with the Nordic bank Nordea. The facilities at $35 million will secure the company’s working capital.
According to a press release from Balderton, at the time, Aksnes said that “this means that we can continue our mission of making energy, smarter at an even faster pace! With the new funding, Tibber will soon launch in the Netherlands.”
This article originally appeared in the Jan. 29, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.