The Andalusian technology company Solum, creator of a solar pavement that is the first in the world, has just closed a funding round of €750,000. The operation, which is led by Fondo Bolsa Social, also comprises the Spanish energy company Capital Energy Quantum, Capital Energy’s corporate venturing section, and Wayra, Telefónica’s open innovation hub. It is also backed by the Business Angel Toni Vera, through his investment section Beringia. By closing this injection of capital, the company aims to strengthen its presence in Spain, double its current work team and begin to work on the European market, especially in countries such as Italy and France.
Solum began its activity in 2019, with the goal of using urban areas to generate clean energy. To this end it has developed a solar pavement that can be walked on 100%, produces this type of energy thanks to its photovoltaic technology, and has no visual impact on the urban landscape, as it does not require any special installation or maintenance, the same as any type of pavement. Thanks to the boom in micro-mobility, this innovative solution can be applied to create charging stations for light electric vehicles, such as e-scooters, at any point in the city, guaranteeing the renewable origin of the power consumed.
Specifically, a station has already been set up for electric scooters at the Parque Científico y Tecnológico Cartuja (PCT Cartuja), in Seville, which is part of a joint project developed by Solum and the mobility operators Reby and VOI. With this initiative, which is already being negotiated with other city halls, the companies seek to become a reference in using renewable power sources in urban areas.
Carlos Rodríguez, CEO of Solum, states that “this injection of capital will allow us to begin an international expansion through Italy and France, as well as to take our electric vehicle recharging stations to the major Spanish cities. We want to contribute to regulating electric scooters, which are so in-demand at the moment, and to guaranteeing their sustainability. Also, thanks to this boost we will be launching a station for electric bicycles in late 2021”.
José Moncada, director of the Fondo Bolsa Social, pointed out that “Solum contributes with an innovative technological solution to promoting the opportunities provided by urban micro-mobility. We see a huge potential in the company, and a clear commitment to sustainability. Their solution is sustainable, versatile and smart. We are very happy to partner with Carlos and his team during this expansion stage and to help them multiply the positive social and environmental impact of this project”.
For Erika Escolar, director of Capital Energy Quantum, the energy company’s corporate venturing section, “this alliance is contained within the company’s commitment to using innovation and collaboration with differential startups, such as Solum, as leverage for transforming the energy sector, and all those linked to the mass emission of CO2, as is mobility, thus accelerating the necessary decarbonisation of the economy”.
“Mobility is undergoing a total transformation, therefore an initiative such as Solum is very interesting, because it also provides the great advantage of sustainability. We have committed to this project to help them move up through Telefónica’s clients because we believe that urban micro-mobility is going to be key in the near future”, pointed out Paloma Castellano, director of Wayra Madrid
Solum was accelerated in the 2019 edition of Andalucía Open Future and is one of the winners of the fifth edition of Telefónica’s Sustainable Innovation Initiative (SII). Their current clients includeTelefónica, Naturgy, Grupo CRH and Puertos del Estado.