VERBUND X Ventures investing in Austrian energy-sharing platform “eFriends”


VERBUND X Ventures investing €800,000 in the Austrian startup eFriends within the scope of the current financing round. Also participating alongside the energy company are wienerberger as lead investor and the venture capital fund Rockstart.

The importance of investing in innovative, green startups is revealed by PwC’s recently published study entitled “State of Climate Tech 2023”, which highlights a growing gap between capital requirements and investments. According to the study, there were 40.5% fewer investments in climate tech startups in 2023. Austria's leading energy company VERBUND has supported European startups in the climate-tech field with its own Corporate Venture Capital unit since last year, in order to help accelerate the energy transition.

“The expansion of decentralised energy generation is advancing rapidly − private PV systems are requested and purchased, but are often too big. The result is that customers are usually unable to consumer all of the PV electricity they generate themselves. Peer-to-peer trading solutions are in important element in the decentralised area. Through existing and ongoing cooperations with eFriends, we can support the startup in taking its next step towards growth,” says Michael Strugl, CEO VERBUND AG, about the recent investment.

With the investment in eFriends, VERBUND X Ventures is investing in a decentralised energy-sharing business model. eFriends offers a platform technology via which users can share self-produced solar power with other users in real time. Within the scope of a cooperation in the VERBUND X Accelerator, VERBUND has set up an energy community with eFriends and in this way has got to know the startup, its business model and technology better.

“Due to the increasing expansion of decentralised energy generation, sharing solutions like those of eFriends are increasingly in demand. eFriends is already putting the potential of its business model and technology to the test with 1,800 customers. We now want to support the startup team in taking its next step towards growth,” says Franz Zöchbauer, managing director of VERBUND X Ventures, in justification of the investment.

In addition to VERBUND X Ventures, participants in the capital round include the brick maker wienerberger as lead investor and the venture capital fund Rockstart. Another investor in eFriends is Raiffeisen Ware Austria (RWA). eFriends is looking to use the investment to take new steps towards growth and to enlarge the team. “The current participation shows that the urgency of the topic has also reached the ‘big players’. We eFriends are convinced that we can make an important contribution to the energy transition through this cooperation,” says Matthias Katt, founder and CEO of eFriends.


More information on VERBUND X Ventures: VERBUND X Accelerator & Ventures - Shape the future with us

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