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South African climate-tech Hohm Energy secures $8m to scale adoption of rooftop solar


Amidst a growing energy crisis, South Africa finds itself in the grip of escalating power shortages, resorting to daily electricity rationing to prevent a nationwide grid collapse.

Eskom, the state-run power generator, has acknowledged a staggering power shortfall of over 6,000 megawatts at times.

In addressing these challenges, Hohm Energy, a Climate Fintech is providing an alternative and sustainable energy source to the 7.7M addressable households, helping to ease the strain on the national grid. To-date Hohm Energy has generated over 17,000 custom solar rooftop designs using its solar proposal engine worth $190M, originating over $90M in finance applications to its retail banking partners. 

The company has now announced a successful close of $8m Seed round. The funding marks the largest seed round for a tech startup in South Africa and was led by E3 Capital and 4DX Ventures. It also attracted participation from new investors, including Breega, E4E Africa, TO.org, Tekton Ventures, Sunu Capital, Musha Ventures, and Climate Capital Ventures.

Launched in 2021 by Tim Ohlsen and Emir Gluhbegovic, Hohm Energy has revolutionised the entire end-to-end solar journey, having built its own proprietary software platform and marketplace that helps connect everyone in the value chain. The company leverages technology to tackle challenges in South Africa’s $51.4B complex rooftop solar market, streamlining the design, scheduling and procurement process for installers and enhancing accessibility for buyers, mitigating delays, installation flaws, compliance risks and financing obstacles.

For solar installers, Hohm Energy provides them with the opportunity to gain trust and also effectively design, manage, finance and procure their solar projects. Hohm Energy customers can have their properties’ solar energy requirements determined digitally and effectively through the platform and they get access to credit financing and an order and fulfilment process that extends to after-sales services including repair and maintenance. 

Hohm Energy has struck partnerships with the majority of South Africa’s retail financial institutions, such as Investec, Nedbank, MFC, FNB, Wesbank and Capitec customers have access to the platform’s finance and credit scoring process to secure structured financing from these institutions. Additionally, Hohm now offers a solar subscription service to South African households, powered by Glint, making solar more accessible than ever before with an all-new and digital solar purchasing experience.

‘‘The energy system in South Africa is broken. ClimateTech is key to solving the current challenges through the provision of a scalable and sustainable alternative. Our robust software platform and fintech marketplace, which enables us to offer value to all stakeholders, is pivotal in enhancing the efficiency of rooftop solar installations and ultimately mitigating the severity of load-shedding being experienced.’’  Tim Ohlsen, CEO of Hohm Energy stated

‘’We are honoured to be collaborating with renowned global investors who share our passion and vision and are helping us achieve our mission on a larger scale’’ he added.

The company says it will use the new capital injection to accelerate the adoption of rooftop solar in the region by investing in its new cutting-edge climate fintech strategy, additionally bolstering its tech, product innovation and solar installer skills development to make rooftop solar more accessible, trusted and affordable for everyone.

The company will also use the investment to launch the Hohm School program, designed to train and empower local solar installers, through the Hohm Energy Standard for Solar Systems Installations (HESSSI), across the country.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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