The small one does not work. Philipp Schröder, 38, always thinks big. He was the first German head of Elon Musk’s Tesla electronics company. And now his own start-up is going to be developed. It means 1 party 5 °, and that says a lot about Schroeder’s noble intentions. Founded in Hamburg in July 2021, the start-up wants to help achieve the goal set in the Paris Climate Agreement at the end of 2015 to reduce global warming to 1.5% compared to the pre-industrial era. 1Komma5 ° sees itself in the rapidly growing group of clean technologies, these are new companies that want to increase efficiency and productivity with “clean technologies” and services while reducing emissions and saving resources.
“We try to organize the installation on an industrial scale, so that it is scalable, so that as many buildings as possible become CO2-neutral as soon as possible,” says Schröder. Schröder uses the words of the start-up scene in a targeted way and is not intimidated by any standard, no matter how big it is. “It’s a bit like Amazon in logistics and Ford in the automotive industry trying to industrialize processes in its industry for the first time.” Ideally Schröder buildings would have solar panels on the roof, heat pumps, batteries for energy storage, charging stations for cars and the right electricity bill. All devices must be networked and controlled via a host. It should ensure that electricity is best consumed when the price on the Leipzig Stock Exchange is cheap or even negative, because solar and wind farms often perform excessively. “We are a licensed energy supplier,” says Schröder.
The calculator introduced last week already has a name: Heartbeat. The device is a square, flat box, measuring 15 by 15 cm. The start-up company is developing the software itself. To network devices, their manufacturers have to release their interfaces, “some already do,” says Schröder. 1Komma5 ° has entered into cooperation agreements with some, for example with the American company Enphase for the solar system converters or for storage with the German subsidiary of Shell Sonnen, whose managing director was Schröder. “If the energy transition is to succeed, storage and smart grids are needed to balance the volatility of electricity supply from solar and wind farms,” says Schröder.
Investors include wealthy families
Apart from the digital side, his business also has a very analog one. As an exploitation, 1Komma5 ° participates in companies in the electrical trade, because one has to install all the systems that are supposed to make the buildings more efficient. In return, the old owners receive a stake in the holding company. Schroeder does not want to reveal the prices he pays for shares in craft companies. He is looking for companies with sales between five and 20 million euros. In order to get away from fossil and nuclear energy sources for electricity and heat, Schröder estimates the investment cost for a detached house from 70,000 to 80,000 euros. “Current trades are not in a position to meet the 1.5 degree target by 2035 and their capabilities are insufficient,” Schröder said. The market is fragmented.
In Germany, the start-up has invested in Ibeko-Solar, with locations in Munich and Kolbermoor, and Quadt Energy in Lingen, among others. Schröder puts the number of locations in Germany and Sweden at 16, and the number of employees in the group at around 500, about 50 of them in the holding company. In 2022, Schröder wants to convert more than 200 million euros.
“Sooner or later, all craft companies will trade the 1Komma5 ° brand,” says Schröder. The company undertakes central services, for example in logistics and marketing, in purchasing or in hiring employees, coordinates the work of transactions to the customer and digitizes the entire process. “We’re turning bad electricians into good ones,” says Schröder. By 2030, 1Komma5 ° wants to make half a million climate-neutral detached houses, which would mean sales of up to 15 billion euros.
He learned from Elon Musk that it is okay to live “uncontrollably” the unconditional desire for a show.
1Komma5 ° has been positively received by donors. Investors have invested around € 300 million since its inception. “In the next round we want to break the $ 1 billion valuation,” says Schröder. 1Komma5 ° would then be called for a unicorn, a unicorn, like the very valuable start-ups on stage. Sponsors include eCapital, Eurazeo, Porsche Ventures and btov ventures as well as wealthy individuals, including the Haniel, Wacker, Krecke and Jan Klatten families. He still holds the majority in the company, says Schröder. It does not rule out an IPO, “maybe 2023/24” if it is appropriate, because 1Komma5 ° needs a lot of funds for growth. “I’m a climate economy activist,” says Schröder. “If you want to make a difference, you have to trade capital.”
Schroeder does not like to be constantly asked about Musk, “because the constant questions about personal things are annoying.” But as Schroeder looks at the phone, he seems to have learned a lot from his Tesla boss. He already had the unconditional desire to play, says Schröder, but he learned that he does not mind living it “unabashedly”. “We see ourselves here as a high-performing team,” says Schröder. It’s like in sports. “I can not develop a six-pack without muscle pain. Growth comes at a price and sometimes it causes pain.” Anyone not interested in “controlled excessive demands” should “go to RWE or look for a nine-to-five job. I can explain to people why it is worth getting up at five.”