Berlin-Based Proptech Startup Novo Secures €1 Million Pre-Seed Funding for Real Estate Decarbonization


Berlin-based proptech startup Novo has successfully secured €1 million in a pre-seed funding round with the aim of accelerating the decarbonization of real estate on a larger scale. The funding round was led by Citizen Capital, a prominent impact investor in France, marking their first investment in a German company. Co-leading the round was 2bX, an early-stage investor specializing in urban tech. Novo also received investment from Antler, a highly active early-stage global VC firm, along with participation from notable angel investors such as proptech-angel Franz De Waal and Atomico angel investor Kerstin Bock.

Novo is addressing the challenge faced by building owners when seeking to improve the energy efficiency of their properties. The process involves navigating a complex system of rules and subsidies. Novo has developed technology to automate and expedite the intricate process of analyzing, planning, and financing energy renovations. The startup's service comprises three key steps: analyzing the current state of the building, creating a comprehensive energy renovation plan for property owners, and facilitating connections to subsidies and loans to reduce renovation costs. What sets Novo apart is its integration of this service directly into its partners' systems, including banks and energy providers.

Mona Hornung, Co-Founder of Novo, emphasized the significance of building sustainability in Europe, stating, "Buildings start to be political, as reducing their carbon emissions will be the most massive use case of our century. Novo is uniquely placed to bring digital disruption to the sector of energy renovation. We see building sustainability being a major trend in Europe. Having the support of investors with both an impact and urban tech expertise is a perfect combination to tackle this challenge."

Novo is currently collaborating closely with TU Berlin to ensure the high-quality results of its technology. The funding will be instrumental in further advancing Novo's technology and enhancing automation. The startup is already working with prominent partners, including financial institutions and energy providers, to reach building owners at scale. Through portfolio analysis, Novo enables partners to identify, categorize, and prioritize buildings in need of renovation. Partnerships are actively underway in Germany, involving institutions such as DZ Bank and RheinEnergie, representing a collective volume of over 7 million buildings.

Olivier Mougenot, Partner at Citizen Capital, expressed enthusiasm for supporting Novo's mission to simplify and expedite home energy renovation, highlighting the founding team's commitment to advancing real estate's climate action across Europe.

The European Union has set an ambitious goal of renovating 15% of its building stock by 2030, a pace significantly faster than the current renovation rate of 1% of buildings in Germany. Novo's automation capabilities promise to accelerate planning for building owners, facilitating a seamless execution of renovations. This technology could potentially enable up to 35 million buildings in need of energy renovation to reduce today's carbon emissions by as much as 80% within the next six years.



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