This Irish firm has landed millions to help businesses switch to energy-saving lights

The €55 million in new lending will be used to boost UrbanVolt’s international expansion.

By Jonathan Keane Reporter, Fora

LED LIGHTING COMPANY UrbanVolt has agreed a deal for €55 million in debt financing from a UK energy investment firm to bolster its global plans.

The Dublin company describes its business as ‘light as a service’ for corporate clients. It replaces lights in commercial buildings with LED lights with no upfront costs.

UrbanVolt, which maintains the lights for up to 10 years, generates income by charging client a percentage of the savings on their new, lower energy bills as a service fee for the first five years of the contract.

The company says it has signed up 45 multinational firms as clients to date, including Pfizer and Cargotec.

The debt funding will enable UrbanVolt to continue expanding its services before it starts generating significant revenue.

The backer, Low Carbon, is a London-based renewable energy investment firm that invests in solar, wind and tidal energy as well as energy storage.

UrbanVolt operates with clients in Ireland, the UK, Europe and the US and now plans to expand its reach in these markets.

Founded in 2015, UrbanVolt said its mission is to help businesses to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions through energy-saving LED lighting.

The company, which is a member of the UN’s Global Lighting Challenge, previously raised €30 million in 2016 from Swiss private equity firm SUSI Partners. Irish rugby international Jamie Heaslip has also backed the company.

US market

The company’s chief executive and co-founder, Kevin Maughan, said the deal would enable UrbanVolt to deliver “thousands more projects each year”. It has reported increased interest from potential clients in the US.

“(Our) existing projects with Irish-based US multinationals have proved invaluable in demonstrating the effectiveness of UrbanVolt in delivering large-scale energy efficiency projects,” Maughan said.

UrbanVolt recently opened offices in Chicago and Florida and plans to open a California location in the future.

Low Carbon investment director Dominic Noel-Johnson said the lighting-as-a-service model had “important financial benefits”, but it also ensured businesses were “contributing to sustainably reducing their carbon emissions”.

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