Summer kicks off the second half of 2023, providing an opportunity to take a look at developments to date as well as outlooks for the second half of the year. So far, 2023 is performing mixed: challenging economic and geopolitical times still prevail, capital providers are showing more restraint, and some start-ups have run into financial difficulties. Read how experts from the venture capital, M&A and start-up scene view current market events in our summer interviews.
VC Magazin: What distinguishes your tech, what makes you special compared to the competition?
Holmquist: The answer is simple: We are the only company that offers both solid-state circuit breakers and inverter-free battery energy storage systems. These two innovations are game-changers for the electricity sector, as they enable unprecedented levels of flexibility, efficiency, and reliability. Let us explain why:
- Solid-state circuit breakers (SSCB) are electronic devices that can switch on and off the power flow in nanoseconds, without any mechanical parts. This means they can handle both AC and fast DC currents, protect against faults and overloads, and provide real-time metering and control of the power flow and quality. They also minimize the need for maintenance, as they have no moving parts that wear out or require lubrication.
- Inverter-free battery energy storage systems (BESS) are based on our proprietary X-Verter® technology, which allows us to control each battery cell individually, without any conventional conversion losses. This means we can optimize the performance and lifespan of any battery type, whether it is lithium-ion, lead-acid, or flow. It also means we can scale up or down the capacity and power of our systems easily, by adding or removing cells.
Together, these two technologies create a powerful synergy that can unlock the full potential of renewable energy sources, electric vehicles, and smart grids. By combining SSCB and BESS, we can offer our customers a complete solution that can store excess energy, balance the grid, reduce peak demand, support fast charging, and improve power quality.
VC Magazin: What role does sustainability play in your day-to-day business?
Holmquist: Sustainability is at the core of everything we do. We are not only committed to developing solutions that can make a positive difference for the environment and society, but also to implementing it in a way that is ethical, responsible and transparent. We only work with partners who share our vision of a greener future and who adhere to high standards of quality and ethics. We also design our products to be durable, efficient and easy to maintain, so they can last longer and reduce waste. We engage as mentors and speakers at schools and universities and believe that by sharing our knowledge and expertise, we can create a more sustainable and resilient energy sector for everyone.
VC Magazin: Where do you see the sector in five years?
Moneyam: The energy sector is undergoing a radical transformation, driven by the need to decarbonize, optimize and innovate. By shifting from a static energy infrastructure to a dynamic real-time configurable network, large savings can be made in terms of money, reduced carbon emissions and overall efficiency. The future will be digital and adaptive and in five years we are well on our way in this transformation.
Holmquist: I expect more than a tenfold growth in the sector within this decade. Over the last few years, the pressure for breakthrough solutions in this sector has been building up. BL!XT got a head start solving the energy transition problem via the Solid-State Circuit Breaker (SSCB). Moreover, they recently expanded their list of innovations with Inverter-free Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS). These breakthrough technologies end the mechanical era thinking and begin a digital era. They also bridge the long AC or DC discussion as they allow seamless switching between both. The BL!XT solution also enables control over the current and voltage, thus making distribution, storage and transmission efficient. This leads to significant savings in production, operation, and longevity, which the whole industry benefits from. BL!XT technology is an enabler of solutions to many of our sustainable future challenges. In words, a paradigm shift is in the making.
VC Magazin: What plans and goals have you set for the next three years?
Holmquist: The BESS market is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, expected to grow 40 fold and reach $500 billion over the next decade. We have a unique competitive edge in this sector, and our goal is to take a leading position in the next three years. We have entered the growth phase and recently signed a commercial contract with Havells, India’s largest electronic company among others. This is a testament to the quality and innovation of our products. We expect to see our solutions deployed across the world, helping to phase out the outdated inefficient solutions and usher in a new era of clean and smart energy.
VC Magazin: Thank you for the interview!
About the interview partners:
Charlotta Holmquist is a seasoned entrepreneur and co-founder of six companies, with several exits. Experienced business leader, CEO and Board Director. MBA from Stockholm School of Economics. Holmquist was recently rated as the female entrepreneur of 2019, globally, by Early Metrics.
Raamu Moneyam is an investment manager at BayWa r.e. Energy Ventures. As climate impact investors, BayWa r.e. Energy Ventures focus on early-stage investment opportunities in energy technology across Europe and Israel.