Ada Ventures is excited to announce its participation in a $1.2m seed round in Boldr. This ambitious start-up empowers households to reduce energy consumption while contributing to energy grid stability. We’re thrilled that they’ve joined the portfolio.
1. Why we invested in Boldr
● First off, there’s plenty of market opportunity.
The global heating, ventilation, and air conditioning market is projected to reach $310b by 2028. In 2022, heat pumps outsold fossil fuel-based heating systems in France and the United States.
The market is there, ready for the taking.
● Increased regulation will demand energy optimisation
Government sustainability mandates and regulations are increasing, alongside a focus on energy optimisation and a move towards more sustainable energy sources. This is putting huge pressure on the electricity grid and could affect around 330m homes across the US and Europe.
Boldr’s products will help make this shift smoother for consumers and energy providers.
● Third, the competition isn’t great.
On the hardware side, there are very heavy value chains. And many competitors fail on the connectivity side as their devices are not connected. Boldr includes the IoT connectivity while competing on price.
The smart home devices landscape is fragmented, and none are specifically energy-focused; Boldr has the potential to capture market share.
2. What does Boldr do?
Boldr’s affordable, energy-saving and connected home-climate devices are supported by an innovative energy-management platform. The software is manufacturer agnostic, allowing customers to retrofit and manage heating, ventilation, and air conditioning products regardless of the make.
Boldr focuses on exceptional homeowner experience through purchase, installation and maintenance (removing all complexity, waitlists, home visits and the high upfront cost). For example, you can simply hang their pretty cool-looking infrared heater, the Kelvin, on the wall and plug in a socket.
Boldr is also developing a software platform, which customers can access via the smart controller Klima and their phone. Here customers can manage all their HVAC products — and eventually all their electric appliances — plugging into energy companies’ interfaces directly.
Their tech is top of the market. Once the hardware is in the home, data on historic consumption patterns can help regulate energy consumption, automate heating and cooling patterns as well as adapt to seasonal changes automatically.
3. Why does Boldr fit the Ada Thesis and what got us excited?
More efficient home energy management will be key in the fight against climate change — and climate equity is one of Ada Venture’s key theses. Boldr’s strategy is smart and innovative.
Not only are they making it easier for customers to use less energy with sleek design and clever products but every customer who joins their ecosystem gives Boldr better negotiating power as a player on the grid. This will eventually enable more value extraction from energy companies and other grid counterparts as well as allowing energy companies to plan and regulate energy consumption through Boldr.
For us, it’s the hardware angle that really sets Boldr apart from its competition. Competitors are approaching the problem from a software perspective, and hoping that they will turn a profit when they reach a critical mass of consumers. Not only is Boldr profitable from day one as it’s selling physical products, but it’s a really sticky solution as it works with existing heating systems too.
4. How did the investment happen?
Here at Ada Ventures, we like to work with exceptional talent. Boldr was founded and is run by Madi Ablyazov and Toma Paro, two friends who met at the age of 10 in “English as a second language” classes. Madi is a serial entrepreneur with operational and business execution experience; Toma is strong on product development and manufacturing, as well as having a patent under his name with a previous company.
We were introduced to Madi and Boldr through Richard Ng, who was one of their early champions. Richard Ng is the co-founder and CTO of Greenworkx, an EdTech start-up tackling the green skills emergency, which we invested in earlier this year. Richard is also a Scout for Ada Ventures and knew immediately that Boldr would be a good fit for us. The Ada Ventures Scout Programme is a key tool in the search for new talent and it really works.
5. Looking forward
Boldr has already shipped more than 6,000 units in North America and Europe, generating $700k in sales. They are forecasted to hit $2m in revenue by the end of 2023.
The Boldr team will use the seed round to hire in tech, marketing and sales expertise and develop new products to bring more homes under management. They want to integrate with all heating solutions, including all heat pumps as well as gas boilers, central heating, electric boilers etc.
Looking further ahead, the plan is to work on integrating with batteries, electric vehicles, solar batteries and establish the home as a virtual power plant.
The long-term broader vision is to become a global platform: the “Apple of home energy.” You could soon be using Boldr in your own home. Here at Ada Ventures, we want to help that happen.