Energy saving lighting specialist UrbanVolt is raising €2.5 million to fund a planned expansion into the US this year.
UrbanVolt fits LED lights to businesses and industries at no charge to the user, but instead gets paid by sharing the savings on their customers’ energy bills over five years. The business is backed by former rugby star Jamie Heaslip.
Chief executive Kevin Maughan confirmed this week that the company has just raised €2.5 million from wealthy individuals to fund an expansion into the US which it flagged last autumn.
The company will initially set up bases in Florida and Chicago, from where it will begin supplying to clients that include multinationals whose Irish subsidiaries it began servicing over the last two years.
Once it is established in those two bases, Mr Maughan hopes that it will be able to open in California and subsequently other centres.
He noted that many of the commercial and industrial facilities to which the Irish company hopes to supply lighting are based in centres close to either US coast.
A share of the initial work in the US and in Europe, where UrbanVolt launched late last year, will come from customers it has already signed up here.
“We are pricing projects in four US states and three European countries for existing clients at the moment,” he said.
UrbanVolt’s chief executive is not in a position to name those customers at the moment because the company has signed confidentiality agreements with them.
Mr Maughan explained that while UrbanVolt was set up mainly to supply small businesses that it believed could not afford energy-saving equipment, but needed it, it has recruited a growing number of multinationals.
Customers for which it has recently finished projects in the Republic include pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, medical devices multi-national Zimmer, the Garda headquarters and the Sports Surgery Clinic.
Mr Maughan pointed out that the large number of multinationals with operations in the Republic allowed UrbanVolt to get an early foothold in the sector. “Two thirds of the Fortune 500 are represented here,” he noted.
UrbanVolt expects to break even this year. The business lost around €1.7 million in 2016, it first full year of operation, but signed up projects worth €5 million over the 12 month period.
Accounts due to be filed for the company show that it generated more than €630,000 in cash, while debtors at the end of that year stood at €2.7 million, which represented future revenue stream from business that it had already signed up.