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SEB Greentech VC invests in company that optimises the energy market

SEB Greentech Venture Capital has acquired a part-owner stake in the German company Esforin. The company has developed a solution for algorithm-based trading that increases flexibility in the energy market and contributes to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by bringing more renewable energy to the grid.

“We view energy flexibility as the key enabler to a green energy transition. It is an increasingly complex market that is also growing very quickly, which places demands on fully automated trading and control. We are very impressed by what Esforin has accomplished and how much value they bring to clients, says Markus Hökfelt, head of SEB Greentech Venture Capital.

Optimising supply and demand 

Esforin (Energy Services for Industry) provides infrastructure for trading on the so-called flexibility market for energy. It is about optimizing supply and demand by allowing electricity customers to bring energy back to the grid when their demand is low and consume it when supply is high. Esforin’s clients include energy-intensive industrial companies and municipal energy companies, as well as producers of renewable energy and battery storage.

What makes ESFORIN's solution unique is that the company trades on the so-called intraday market, where energy is sold in units of 5–15 minutes, with fully automated trading and control of energy loads, battery storage and producing units. 

The ability to flexibly increase or decrease energy use makes it possible to bring more renewable energy sources into the grid and thus contributes to reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Esforin today manages 1.5 gigawatts of controllable power (which can be put in relation to, for example, Ringhals that has approximately 2.2 GW) and shows strong growth, doubling on annual basis. According to the consulting company TÜV Rheinland, Esforin’s flexibility trading contributed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by roughly 363,000 tons in 2022.

Missing link

“Flexibility is the missing link within the energy transition puzzle. Our service ensures grid stability, lowers energy costs and increases the use of renewables. Furthermore, our customers benefit from a lower carbon footprint, says Christian Hövelhaus, CEO and founder of Esforin.

He believes that flexibility does not get the attention it deserves, neither in business nor in politics

.“Thanks to our new partner SEB, we have the financial means to expand our flexibility services even faster in Europe, he says.

Esforin has operations in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, and the UK and has recently started operations in France and Belgium. The company has around 40 employees.

SEB Greentech VC is the bank's unit for investing risk capital in green technology focusing on transformative ideas that promise substantial impact in reducing greenhouse gas emissions or in preventing transgression of the planetary boundaries. The unit has an investment mandate of 600 million Swedish kronor and has so far invested in seven companies, including Esforin.

Read more about SEB Greentech Venture Capital

Read press release (esforin.com)