The Estonian company Roofit.solar recently announced that it managed to raise more than six million euros in their latest investment round. Andres Anijalg, the company’s business development manager, discussed what they have accomplished so far and what their future plans are. According to Anijalg, the GreenEST Summit, the largest greentech conference in the Baltics, also played an important role in the company’s development.
The idea came from personal need
Roofit.solar was founded in 2016 and, like many other companies, the idea was born from personal need. Namely, the founder of the company, Andri Jagomägi, started to design a house for himself in 2016 and couldn’t find a suitable solar panel for the roof. Jagomägi has a doctorate in solar sciences from Tallinn University of Technology and has been involved in solar energy research since 2002, so he had plenty of knowledge of this field. Eventually, he hit upon the idea to integrate solar panels directly onto the surface of the roofing material.
The original prototypes were created in 2017, when the company went to Tallinn Building Fair for the first time. They managed to find their first customers there and the first roofs were installed the same year.
The following year, Roofit.solar introduced its product at the GreenEST Summit, where it had its own booth in the exhibition area. In addition, they had the opportunity to lead a panel discussion on the main stage, which brought significant attention to the company at that time. “As a start-up company, it was crucial for us at that moment to be able to stand out, because no one knew us. The GreenEST Summit gave us a very good push,” said Andres Anijalg.
Over the years, the company has also received support in various ways from the Tehnopol Science and Business Park. In its early years, the company was headquartered in premises leased from Tehnopol, and at various times it also participated in seminars focused on entering foreign markets. Anijalg pointed out that, thanks to Tehnopol, Roofit.solar has found good contacts and cooperation partners, and has been able to grow its contact network.
Climate neutrality brings more customers
Recently, Roofit.solar was able to publicly announce that they raised 6.4 million euros from investors as a result of an investment round. Anijalg admitted that a lot of effort was put into it. “It’s easier for venture capital investors to invest in software start-ups than in a company like ours: we have to invest part of the money in the production line, the second part goes to working capital, and the third to increase development and sales. Investors do not like to invest in metal and working capital,” said Anijalg.
However, the company benefits from the fact that climate neutrality is becoming more and more important, and in connection with this, the buildings must also be renovated to meet the requirements. The changes taking place in society have created a favourable background, so that Roofit.solar and other companies in this field are attracting more and more interest. “We already have something to show: we have installed between 150 and 200 roofs in Europe, and we have 30 people on payroll. We are like an actual company,” said Anijalg.
Roofs have mainly been installed in private houses, but there have also been apartment buildings and industrial buildings. Anijalg said that about half have been completely new buildings and half renovated buildings.
At the moment, Roofit.solar is focusing on Scandinavia by being quite active in the Swedish market, for example. Thanks to a new and very strong lead investor from Germany, they are also targeting the market there.
Anijalg said that the main purpose of the investment involved is to expand sales in foreign markets. “We definitely want to further develop our production line in Tallinn. We currently have good production, but it can be improved by automating certain activities. This would allow us to increase production volumes and lower production prices,” he said.
The largest greentech conference in the Baltics, GreenEST Summit, will take place on 27-28. October at Kultuurikatel (The Creative Hub). Large and small players in the field of greentech will participate in the conference and newcomers can be discovered in the demo area.