Smart green energy provider Ostrom raises 9.3€ million Series A to help consumers use less electricity


Karl Villanueva


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Leading US-based investors Adjacent and Union Square Ventures invest in Ostrom to push its energy management platform in Europe.

Berlin, 7 December 2022 09:00 CET – Ostrom has raised a further 9.3€ million in a Series A round to expand smarter energy management for consumers. This brings the total funding of Ostrom close to 14€ million. Founded by Matthias Martensen and Karl Villanueva, the new funding will be used to broaden its offering, including smart meter support, real-time dynamic pricing tariffs, electric vehicle (EV) charging, heat pump optimization and more.

Energy Crisis Calls For Energy Solutions

For many, the backdrop in 2022 could not have been tougher: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent weaponization of energy supplies with Nord Stream 1 and 2 has caught Europe off-guard. The insufficient diversification and transition to renewables has led to a scramble for new supplier relationships. In Germany, the continued lack of digitalization in the industry is leaving plenty of potential savings, both money and energy, on the table for consumers.

Among the few, Ostrom is delighted to be joined by top-tier VCs Adjacent and Union Square Ventures that share the thesis that it is during such crises that the strongest opportunities are to be found. As renewables increase in prevalence, a decentralized grid increases volatility of supply. At the same time, the electrification wave — with EVs and heat pumps — vastly increases demand. Providing transparency and real-time feedback to customers about their energy usage is paramount to helping avert another energy crisis in the future.

“The fact that energy providers today make their margins through a markup on energy is not aligned with the consumers’ (nor our climate’s) interest of reducing consumption. Ostrom solves this with a more aligned business model that sells energy at cost and enables a more sustainable future. I am very happy to support the team on that mission.”

Nico Wittenborn, Investor at Adjacent

An Energy Provider That Actually Wants You To Use Less Energy

Incentives for traditional energy providers and consumers have always been at odds. The current equation — more power used equals more revenues — is no longer tenable. This dynamic consequently incentivizes these providers to want to get their customers to use more power, resulting in wastefulness and a lack of transparency.

In contrast, Ostrom has an electricity-at-cost business model, with just a flat monthly fee. This aligns the incentives for the company, consumers and the climate — creating a trusted brand in an industry plagued by mistrust. With a 4.9/5.0 rating on Trustpilot on close to a thousand reviews and the top 100/100 score on Deutschland Test, Ostrom continues to be the best-rated energy provider in Germany.

“Ostrom’s electricity-at-cost model structurally aligns the company with its customers, incentivizing all to reduce energy consumption. Furthermore, the beautiful, easy-to-use app paired with renewable energy sources makes it easy to optimize energy usage.  We are thrilled to support the company in its next phase of growth.”

Nick Grossman, General Partner at Union Square Ventures

Ostrom enjoys continued support from earlier VC investors, including 468 Capital, J12 Ventures and Übermorgen Ventures.

Continued Growth Even On Tough Times

Since its launch in May 2021, Ostrom continues to grow each month despite the current energy crisis. Available across Germany, Ostrom now has customers in over 1,500 cities and towns and has won clients from over 400 other energy suppliers — firmly placing Ostrom among the top 10% of energy providers in the country.

“We always started off with the idea to fundamentally align our incentives with our consumers, to make sure they use as little energy and save as much money as possible. We have started rolling out dynamic pricing tariffs thanks to our collaboration with the grid providers in Germany on smart meter data, providing the basis for our energy management platform. At Ostrom, we are leading this change to further the energy transition!”

Matthias Martensen, co-founder at Ostrom

With the investment, Ostrom aims to at least double the current team in the next two years with a strong focus on product and tech. In addition, the company will further develop its smart energy management solutions to cement its frontrunner status in the smart meter and dynamic pricing rollout in Germany.

“We are seeing how our business model, our app, all our in-house automations and the platform built by our amazing team provide the foundation to help our customers save more energy. While others still think like old-school utilities, we have always thought of Ostrom as an experience. So far, we have created a brand that our customers truly love and trust. We have a ton of ideas on our roadmap and we can’t wait to roll these out to our users!”

Karl Villanueva, co-founder at Ostrom
Ostrom co-founders Matthias Martensen & Karl Villanueva

Ostrom Adds Two More Stellar Angels To Deep Bench

The round also extends its all-star angel panel with two more Ostrom advocates — Revent Partner Henrik Grosse Hokamp and serial investor Jonathan Teklu.

Previous angel investors include early-stage investors & Doppelgänger TechTalk Podcast hosts Philip Klöckner and Philipp Glöckler, Dance and SoundCloud co-founders Eric Quidenus-Wahlforss and Alexander Ljung, Gorillas co-founder Jörg Kattner, HelloFresh Global CMO Maximilian Backhaus, Konfetti founder Tobi Fezer, Tourlane co-founder & CEO Julian Weselek, fintech Moss founders Ante Spittler, Anton Rummel, Ferdinand Meyer & Stephan Haslebacher, GoTiger co-founder Yang Zou, NFQ and Alaiko Founder Harald Braunstein, Home-to-Go Founder Patrick Andrä, venture studio MVP Factory, early-stage investor Shio Capital, impact investor Friedrich Neuman, and influencer and entrepreneur Diana Zur Löwen.

About Adjacent

Nico Wittenborn founded Adjacent in 2020 with a focus on mobile and subscription experiences after working at Point Nine Capital and Insight Partners. He has backed companies such as Revolut, BeReal, Calm, Niantic, Clue, PhotoRoom and more.

About Union Square Ventures

Union Square Ventures is a thesis-driven venture capital firm based in New York City. USV’s current thesis is focused on products and services that leverage networks to broaden access to capital, knowledge and well-being. Notable exits include Coinbase, Twitter, Etsy, Twilio, Duolingo, and MongoDB among others.

About Ostrom

Ostrom is a smart energy management platform headquartered in Berlin that helps consumers control their energy consumption. The company launched with its one-fair-price-for-all electricity plan, a fully digital experience and 100% green energy sourcing  — one where the incentives of the company, its customers and the climate are all aligned.

The startup is currently expanding its offering with one of the first dynamic pricing tariffs in Germany with smart meter and EV integrations.

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