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No other Hamburg-based startup has developed as rapidly in recent years as 1KOMMA5°. With its offerings for the energy transition, the company founded by Philipp Schröder is having the finger on the pulse, and its acquisition strategy is accelerating its growth. Just now it became a unicorn, a startup with a valuation in the billions.

© 1KOMMA5°: Philipp Schröder, founder and CEO
© 1KOMMA5°: Philipp Schröder, founder and CEO

Energy is Philipp Schröder's leitmotif

The topic of energy supply has occupied Philipp Schröder for a very long time. Growing up on an organic farm in the Lüneburg Heath, he became involved in the anti-nuclear power movement in his youth. In 2008, he founded Nycon Energy together with Dominic Briggs, even then with the aim of offering alternatives to traditional oil heating. At that time, he was not yet able to establish himself. In 2011, he therefore joined JUWI, a company specializing in the construction and operation of wind and solar farms.

A year later, Philipp moved to sonnen, a producer of storage systems for electricity generated from solar energy. He also traveled to California for his new employer, where he caught the attention of none other than Elon Musk. This earned him a job that to this day is almost like a second forename in many articles about him: Tesla manager. He built up the U.S. company's German business with great success, but his passion still belonged more to the energy than the automotive sector. So he returned to sonnen in 2015 and continued his success story there.

For all the influence he had at sonnen, he was still only an employee there, not an entrepreneur. So he set up his own business again in 2018 and moved into the fintech scene with his startup CAPinside. There, the idea was to give people access to asset classes that had previously been denied to them, using blockchain technology. CAPinside is still around today, while Philipp Schröder returned to his favorite topic in July 2021. Together with Philipp Liesenfeld (COO, ex-JUWI), Jannik Schall (CPO, ex-sonnen) and Michael Grüber (CFO, ex-CAPinside), he founded 1KOMMA5°. He had thus gathered trusted companions around him in order to really take off.

© 1KOMMA5°: the flagship store
© 1KOMMA5°: the flagship store

The company name 1KOMMA5° is, in a way, programmatic, since it refers to a goal set at the UN Climate Change Conference in 2015. According to this, the aim is to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to the figure at the beginning of industrialisation. To achieve this, efforts must be made at all levels, not least in terms of energy supply in private households. Just how arduous this is, is illustrated by the heated discussions about mandatory heat pumps in recent weeks.

1KOMMA5° wants to make the switch to renewable energy as easy as possible, and since time is pressing, its course was set for rapid growth from the start. Ultimately, the company wants to offer everything from a single source, from consulting and planning to installation, electricity contracts and maintenance services. Out of itself, a just-founded startup cannot develop all this in the shortest possible time using only its own resources.

So 1KOMMA5° set out to find partners and go on a buying spree at the same time. A key role is played by craft businesses that can install the heat pumps, solar systems and charging stations for electric cars. Accordingly, they were at the top of the startup's shopping list. The initial goal was to establish a nationwide presence with these businesses. This has now largely been achieved in Germany, and the number of applications significantly exceeds the number of acquisitions.

© 1KOMMA5°: the emergy management system Heartbeat
© 1KOMMA5°: the emergy management system Heartbeat

Successes at home and abroad

Word has spread about the advantages of belonging to the 1KOMMA5° family. For example, in terms of purchasing prices, which are naturally higher for lone fighters than for a community. With its complete package and a modular concept, the startup can also provide services that are often not possible with classic companies, for example in the area of digitisation. Craft meets technology, is the motto. "We unleash them," says Philipp Schröder, citing an example of a business from Göttingen that was able to increase its annual sales from 3 to 20 million euros after the takeover. Accordingly, the focus of growth is now on the existing branches in Germany, rather than on additional acquisitions.

1KOMMA5° has long been active abroad, conquering one market after another. The company is already successful in Sweden, Finland, Italy and even Australia. The latest coup is the just announced takeover of the Danish company Viasol, which is the market leader in the field of solar energy in the Scandinavian country. Among other things, Viasol is to introduce the Heartbeat technology developed by 1KOMMA5° there.

Heartbeat is an energy management system that offers the possibility of coordinating the operation of various hardware components such as heat pumps and charging stations in the best possible way. By knowing about the solar power self-generation, the weather forecast and the electricity price development, the consumption can be shifted to the time windows in which enough solar power is available or the price is particularly low.

© 1KOMMA5°: at the opening of the flagship store
© 1KOMMA5°: at the opening of the flagship store

1KOMMA5° writes really big numbers

Started with four men, 1KOMMA5° now has at least 1,200 employees at almost 60 locations and regularly reports record-breaking sales increases, so that today's figures will be quite outdated tomorrow. In 2022, sales were just over 200 million euros; for the current fiscal year, there is talk of a sales target of up to 600 million euros. In 2030, sales are even expected to reach 10 billion euros, achieved through the climate-friendly retrofitting of 500,000 buildings.

Even if much is financed by the economic success of the company, such fulminant growth is not possible without investors. And here, too, 1KOMMA5° has a record number to show, at least as far as the Hamburg startup scene is concerned. In the spring of 2022, news of a 200-million-euro financing round made the headlines. Among others, investment firms such as Porsche Ventures and b2venture, well-known family offices and the prominent manager Jan Klatten were involved. In June 2023, what had already been speculated since the spring then became reality: Thanks to a series B financing round of 215 million euros, 1KOMMA5° achieved the status of a unicorn, a startup with a valuation in the billions.All major existing investors as well as the Clean Tech investor G2VP from Silicon Valley were involved. According to press reports, an IPO within the next two years is within the realm of possibility.


This would ultimately make 1KOMMA5° the flagship company of the Hamburg startup ecosystem. Despite the internationalisation, the heart still beats in the Hanseatic city, with around 200 employees at four locations. The showpiece is undoubtedly the flagship store on Ballindamm, directly at the Binnenalster. There, customers can find out about the range of products on offer and receive individual advice. After all, no two households are alike.

If founder Philipp Schröder had a wish, it would be a clearer and more determined course towards climate neutrality in politics. On the other hand, he gives Hamburg as a business location a positive report card:

"Hamburg is much better than its reputation. We have a good environment for our company here and the city has a great atmosphere. That's why we will continue to expand our workforce here."
Philipp Schröder, Founder of 1Komma5°


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