The Enter founders believe that apartments and houses should become more energy-efficient before purchasing a solar system. Well-known investors agree with them.
Anyone who thinks about saving energy privately will often think of the balcony power plant or a larger solar system on the roof. Companies like Enpal or 1Komma5° have established themselves in this segment in no time at all – they want to make the process of generating your own energy much easier. Is that the first step towards a more sustainable home, but is it to generate your own energy?
Justus Menten and Max Schroeren have a different idea: first check where energy can be saved. Poor insulation, poorly insulating windows, inefficient heating can all lead to poor energy efficiency. The corresponding renovation could possibly even be funded. Their startup, which they have just renamed from Baupal to Enter, was born from these thoughts.
Two rounds of financing in seven months
And for which they have just received the sum of 13.8 million euros from investors. It is the second financing within a few months, so since the end of 2022 almost 20 million euros have flowed into the Berlin startup. The investors include well-known VC companies such as Coatue, Target Global and Partech. Well-known business angels and scene heads are also betting on the startup, including Flink founder Oliver Merkel, McMakler co-founders Hanno Heintzenberg and Lukas Pieczonka and Daniel Kreter, COO of Taxfix.
And this is how the Enter offer works: With a digital query developed by the start-up, customers receive a transparent assessment of the energetic condition of their property in a matter of minutes. You can then quickly and easily see how much can be saved through various renovation steps. Enter then prepares an energy consultation, develops an individual energetic refurbishment roadmap and takes care of the appropriate funding applications.
Meanwhile, Enter is no longer a very young startup. Menten, who is an architect and a certified energy efficiency consultant himself, and Schroeren founded their company back in 2020. The first few years they managed without external capital, so they bootstrapped. “Over the years, we’ve gotten along just fine by following the income statement very closely,” says Schroeren in an interview with Gründerszene. “We were a smaller company with ten to 15 employees.” That will have changed by 2021 at the latest. Today, Enter employs 75 people, and by the end of the year it should be around 150.
Schoeren and Menten also want to pay attention to efficiency in the future. “We have an asset-light model,” says Schroeren, meaning, among other things, that the energy consultants who come to the customers’ homes are not employed by Enter. “For example, certified craftsmen, chimney sweeps or independently working experts do that for us.” Meanwhile, only about 20 consultants are permanently employed, who plan further measures for the customers. They didn’t even need the millions of investors, says Schroeren. “We weren’t necessarily dependent on it, but we thought now is the right time to let our business model, our business, scale even faster.”
Clear goal: to become a unicorn
To make this possible, Enter relies on its own technology platform: “On the basis of a questionnaire, this automates the energy balance,” explains Menten, “in this way a ‘digital twin’ of the current energy situation is created.” Site checked before remedial advice can begin. “The system supports different recommendations with different dependencies.” In other words, it spits out several renovation proposals that match what the homeowners want to invest. The appropriate funding application can also be submitted fully automatically. The founding duo also hopes to score points with customers with this.
Menten and Schroeren see themselves in a good position compared to providers with strong marketing skills such as Enpal, Thermondo or 1Komma5°, who have a different offer but are vying for the attention of the same customer group, mainly because they are manufacturer-independent. “Such companies are complementary for us in the long term,” says Enter founder Schroeren, “because we also broker their offers.” The ambitions of the founding duo are in any case equal: “Our goal is to become a unicorn. “