Smart storage startup raises $85m to build a virtual power station

October 18, 2016 // By Nick Flaherty
German startup Sonnen Group has raised $85m from new and existing investors to expand the development and roll out of its smart power system for renewable energy.

The company, based in the Bavarian village of Wildpoldsreid, manufactures the lithium ion-based sonnenBatterie smart energy management home systems in Germany and in San José, California. Through its sonnenCommunity, homeowners throughout Germany can produce, store and share their own electricity. The latest development, sonnenFlat, allows thousands of sonnenBatteries to be aggregated into one large storage pool as a virtual power station. 

The funding will boost the development of new products such as sonnenCommunity and further expansion in the US, Australia, UK and Italy. "We want to become the energy supplier of the future, and fast growth and leadership in innovation are the keys to reaching this goal," said Christoph Ostermann, CEO of sonnen Group. "With Envision Energy, we have gained a strategic investor who shares our vision, supplements our technology and has a strong presence in both the US and Asian markets."

The investment includes two new backers, Envision Energy, and Thomas Putter, former CEO and ex-Chairman of Allianz Capital Partners and a leading investor in renewable energy technology, joining existing investors that include eCAPITAL, MVP, SET Ventures, Inven Capital and GE Ventures. 

In addition to its high-quality wind turbines, Envision Energy also develops software for decentralized energy sources and devices. Envision is represented worldwide and maintains numerous research and development centers in Asia, Europe and the US, including Silicon Valley, Houston, Texas and Boulder, Colorado.