The SoftBank-backed solar power startup Enpal said Friday that it has raised €430 million ($464 million) in debt funding to finance its leasing business.
DWS and Phoenix Life Limited joined existing investors BlackRock and ING in the refinancing round, according to the company. BlackRock upped its commitment in this round by €100 million, and ING increased its own by an additional €150 million, it said.
The latest round adds to the €200 million in new funds that Enpal raised in January — and the €855 million in refinancing capital that it secured last year, bringing its total refinancing commitments to more than €1.9 billion. The Berlin-based firm that installs solar panels, electric-car chargers and energy management and storage tools is trying to popularize residential solar leasing in Europe and attract investors to the relatively new asset class.
“Three or four years ago, there was no pool of assets large enough to be able to invest,” said Gregor Burkart, head of Enpal’s refinance portfolio. Because of this, he said, Enpal’s fundraising process has involved a “huge amount of education.”
Enpal, like other solar-panel suppliers, is facing pressure to diversify its supply chain away from China, Burkart said. “We’re moving on that front,” he said. “It’s not something that happens overnight.” The company at the same time stressed that it isn’t planning to cut China out of the equation altogether.
The latest funding round will help finance the Berlin-based company through the end of the first quarter of next year, Burkart said. “In an ideal world, we would have financing commitments over the next two or three years — just to have planability — but, then again, this comes as a cost,” he said.