UrbanVolt funding deal to power overseas expansion


UrbanVolt, the fast-growing Irish energy company, is planning to open new offices in London and California following its €55m funding deal.

The company confirmed that it planned to add to its US and British operations, citing potential for “significant growth opportunities” in both markets.

Last week the British investment company Low Carbon agreed a €55m debt facility, which UrbanVolt chief executive Kevin Maughan said would underwrite the company’s international expansion.

UrbanVolt operates a “light as a service” model where it pays the upfront cost of retrofitting traditional lighting with LED fixtures that last an average of 20 years and maintains the lights.

It makes money by splitting the cost savings with the customer.

“This deal will ensure that we can deliver thousands more projects each year. In addition, the multi-currency dimension of the financing arrangement is key, given that we are working on new projects with a growing list of clients across the US and Europe,” said Maughan.

Low Carbon should be a good long-term partner as UrbanVolt expanded in the UK and continental European markets, he added.

Maughan also said the company planned to set up an office in California, and had been expanding in America amid “huge interest” in its offering.

“Our existing projects with Irish-based US multinationals have proved invaluable in demonstrating the effectiveness of UrbanVolt in delivering large-scale energy-efficiency projects,” said Maughan.

The company has already opened offices in Chicago and Florida in the past 12 months.

Established in 2015, UrbanVolt received early backing from investors including the retired Ireland rugby star Jamie Heaslip.

In 2016, the company raised €30m in funding from Swiss investment group Susi.

UrbanVolt’s high-profile clients include Pfizer, Zimmer Biomet, Cargotec and Pipelife.

A privately owned investment company, Low Carbon specialises in the development and operation of renewable energy power production. It has already funded more than 320 megawatts of solar energy projects in Britain.

Dominic Noel-Johnson, an investment director at Low Carbon, said that it was attracted to UrbanVolt’s operating model, which “ensures businesses are contributing to sustainably reducing their carbon emissions”.

By Philip Connolly

Anne James