Voltiris, an innovative energy company founded by Swiss entrepreneurs Nicolas Weber, Jonas Roch and Dominik Blaser, has raised a CHF 1.4M Pre-Seed round to accelerate the development and commercialisation of the company’s novel solar modules technology for greenhouses by expanding commercial pilots, setting the ground for industrial production, and adding key competencies to the existing team.
Renowned Swiss investors including Serpentine Ventures, Business Angels Switzerland and SICTIC joined in the round, in addition to getting support from the Swiss Climate Foundation and the Fondation pour l’Innovation et la Technologie (FIT).
« Voltiris has developed a unique solution for greenhouse growers that not only helps save energy but increases the resilience of our food system. This is a major breakthrough, one of the many we will need to tackle climate change. I am very impressed by the Voltiris leadership and team, and confident of their capacity to deliver on this ambitious vision. » said Ivo Petrov, member of Business Angels Switzerland and advisor at AgFunder.
Recent steep energy price increases have hit greenhouse growers impacting production. Voltiris enables them to make double use of their land, helping enhance energy independence, increase profitability, and improve sustainability. Crucially, Voltiris’ solar modules do not require installation permits, accelerating deployment and the use of renewable energy.
Nicolas Weber, Co-Founder and CEO of Voltiris adds: « We are very excited to see our solution taking shape, allowing growers to secure their energy price and focus instead on what matters most – growing their crops. The investment will go toward refining and scaling our offering in collaboration with key greenhouse partners. Bringing on board experienced investors aligned with our vision of the future of horticulture will certainly accelerate the momentum. »
In early 2023, Voltiris will commence multiple solar projects with tomato and flower growers in Switzerland and the Netherlands, increasing in scale throughout the year. Further, a one-year agronomical study on tomato crops will be conducted jointly with the University of Wageningen, a world-renowned horticulture research institution, at their testing facilities in Bleiswijk (NL). Together, these projects will lead up to the full-scale commercialization of Voltiris’ solution in 2024.
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Based in Lausanne (CH), Voltiris has developed the first photovoltaic modules specifically designed for glass greenhouses. The modules enable double-land use of greenhouse surfaces to generate electricity without impacting the normal growth of crops.
Greenhouse growers increase their energy independence, improve profitability, and significantly reduce their carbon footprint. At a societal level, the double-land use accelerates the deployment of renewable energy while preserving biodiversity.