Cork-based energy technology firm Swyft Energy has launched a €5m funding round to further develop its online technology platform as the company looks toward international expansion.
The e-commerce platform allows homeowners to specify, order and receive an estimated price online for the installation of energy related products from different suppliers.
Swyft, which continues to develop the services side of its business in the Irish market, has now also entered licensing talks with a number of international energy market players after seeing the platform grow rapidly in Ireland.
It has received interest from several international companies in the energy space in both mainland Europe and the US, its chief executive and co-founder Joe Freyne told the Sunday Independent.
Swyft first developed an online marketplace for tradespeople two years ago, aimed specifically at the €200m Irish boiler replacement and energy controls market.
The new funding round will be used to further expand the platform's capabilities in solar PV, as well as introducing electric car chargers and heat pumps to the platform.
"We are aiming to increase the adoption rate of solar PV and renewables in Ireland and are open to discussing strategic partnerships and potential investment with companies within the industry that can complement our business and technology," said Freyne. "The Irish solar PV market is in its embryonic stage, but in terms of sunlight hours and PV production, Ireland is comparable with Germany - which is one of the largest solar power producers in the world."
Chief technology officer Adrian Casey, also a co-founder, said that Swyft's technology platform "provides home service companies with the capabilities to operate like e-commerce retailers".
"The barriers to entry in the home services industry are very low but the barriers to growth are high, which is why the industry is so fragmented across the world. Our technology that we want to license makes it easier to grow a home services business while increasing sales and lowering fixed costs," he said.
"We started off as a technology company, almost the Uber for tradespeople, but we found the service was not scalable.
"However, we were getting a lot of enquiries around boiler installations and decided to focus on bringing the supply chain online and running the process ourselves.
"We then spent a year defining and digitising the process and developing a superb nationwide team," he added.
The company raised €2.6m in 2019 and was backed by the Davy/BDO EII Fund, which led the investment round. Swyft now has a staff of 30 and an 80-strong nationwide network of installers.
AIB Corporate Finance is advising on the raise, which is aimed at doubling the size of the firm in the next year, introducing new products to the platform and licensing its technology to home service providers internationally.