Battery storage company Terra One raises $7.5M to power transition to green energy

Terra One, a Berlin-based startup that facilitates the transition to green energy with its grid-connected large-scale battery storage systems, has secured $7.5 million in seed funding.

The investment round was led by PT1, a venture capital firm specialising in transformative real asset technologies, with additional support from neosfer, an early-stage investor backed by Commerzbank. Also contributing were 468 Capital, Terra One’s initial backers, N26 co-founder Maximilian Tayenthal, serial entrepreneur Jan Beckers, and the scout funds of Andreessen Horowitz and Hedosophia. The company plans to use this funding to expand its team, enhance its AI battery optimisation software, and grow its project pipeline.

Co-founded by serial entrepreneur Tony Schumacher and Thomas Antonioli, former CFO of Grover, Terra One is committed to helping Europe meet its climate objectives and reduce its dependence on non-renewable, politically sensitive energy sources.

Despite the growth in solar and wind power, current electricity grid and storage capacities fall short, hindering a full shift to renewable energy. For instance, in 2023, Germany lost 19 terawatt hours of energy – sufficient to power six million households – due to inefficient grid management and congestion. As renewable energy sources proliferate, these challenges are expected to grow.

Terra One addresses these issues with its decentralised network of battery storage projects. These batteries charge when renewable energy production is high and electricity prices are low, typically during the day or overnight, and discharge during peak demand times when electricity is more expensive. This strategy not only cuts costs but also ensures no renewable energy goes to waste.

The company’s AI model is specifically designed for energy market trading, enabling automated charging and discharging based on energy demand, production, and timing. This intelligent AI trading tool not only promises attractive returns without subsidies but also alleviates grid congestion, a significant barrier to achieving 100% green energy adoption.

Terra One’s current projects include battery systems capable of powering a city of 100,000 people for up to six hours, with a pipeline of 300 projects exceeding 20 Gigawatt hours. To contextualise, producing one GWh of electricity typically requires 67,200 gallons of oil, while one Gigawatt can power 100 million LED light bulbs or equate to nearly 2.5 million solar panels.

Terra One co-founder, Thomas Antonioli, said: "We are very excited about this financing round, which will allow us to drive forward our vision of building Europe's leading battery optimiser and thus make an essential contribution to achieving climate targets. Specifically, we will use the financing to further build our team and develop our revolutionary battery optimisation software and our project pipeline."

Managing Partner of PT1, Nikolas Samios, said: "We have been involved in energy storage technologies for some time, as we know first-hand that infrastructure funds are just waiting to invest nine-to-ten figure sums in this area. After extensive screening of the European market, Terra One clearly proved to be the best team and the best technology for us. We believe that what Enpal and 1Komma5° have achieved in scaling the installation of solar systems will now also be achieved with Terra One for the development and operation of large battery storage systems in the grid."

Senior Investment Manager at neosfer, Karim Menn, said: "Terra One's team is equipped with the right competencies to succeed in the energy storage market: high speed, a deep understanding of the technology and their approach of vertical integration combined with operational excellence. Furthermore, synergies can be created between Terra One and Commerzbank Group's asset management business, which is increasingly focussing on renewable energy and related infrastructure projects."

Terra One has secured nearly 300 sites to build storage facilities, positioning it as one of Europe's largest storage operators. The company finances these projects through institutional and infrastructure investors attracted by promising potential returns and strong ESG credentials.

Terra One co-founder, Tony Schumacher, said: "People outside the energy industry often have little idea of how much energy our projects can store. Our current largest approved battery projects can power a city of 100,000 people for up to six hours. That's a huge capacity that makes it possible to compensate for fluctuations in renewable energy production on a large scale. We are building important infrastructure to enable the energy transition."