German startup raises €430M to create ‘virtual power plant’ for your home

Hamburg-based 1KOMMA5° is the latest startup to join the expanding club of climate tech unicorns, after bagging €430m in fresh funding.  

Founded just 23 months ago, the startup’s main product is Heartbeat, an IoT device that acts as the air traffic control of your home’s energy system. The device connects your solar panels with other energy infrastructure such as energy storage, car chargers, and heat pumps, and optimises the whole system.

By intelligently linking all the energy devices in the home, 1KOMMA5° aims to not just decarbonise the energy grid (and keep global warming within 1.5 °C — as the company name suggests), but save you money in the process. 

It does this through what the company calls “energy system optimisation” — in other words, boosting the overall efficiency of the electric devices in your home. 

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Heartbeat deploys several techniques to ease your electricity bill, including automatically purchasing power when it is cheap (on a windy day for instance) and selling excess power back to the grid when the price is favourable. The device is claimed to save homeowners €1,550 on their energy bill each year. Heartbeat comes with an app which gives real-time access to energy flows and historical data.

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