Investing in solar-powered products for daily life
+ A look at female founder funding, a new option for death care and top-rated deals
CHART OF THE WEEK 📈
August 26th is known as Women’s Equality Day and celebrates the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment, prohibiting the government from denying the right to vote based on sex. In celebration of Women’s Equality Day this week, we looked at female-founded companies in the online private markets.
In the first half of 2022, 163 raises with female founders went live online, compared to 149 in the first half of 2023.
558 raises in total went live in the first half of 2023. The 149 female-founded companies made up about 26% of total raises.
For perspective, 18.5% of venture deals thus far in 2023 had mixed-gender founding teams. 7.4% were strictly female-founded companies.
In the first half of 2023, female founders raised $40.7 million in capital, down from $54.2 million in the first half of 2022. This decline likely reflects the general market slowing down in 2023 amid macroeconomic turbulence.
All companies raising online totaled $135.9 million for the first half of 2023. With $40.7 million raised, companies with a female founder comprised 29.9% of capital.
Thus far in 2023, 17.9% of venture dollars went to mixed-gender founding teams, while just 2.1% went to companies with only female founders.
Despite declines year-over-year in the online private markets funding female entrepreneurs (likely the result of general investor pullback), equity crowdfunding is still outpacing traditional ventures.
PITCH REVIEW 💸
Brief: Inergy is a clean-tech firm at the forefront of crafting innovative solar-powered products that can be utilized daily by the general public to capture and store renewable energy. It’s currently raising $1,235,000 at a valuation of $20M with a minimum investment of $250.
Key People: Founder Brad Barrot (experience solar and energy storage, founded Big Dog Solar), CEO Sean Luangrath (Oracle, Apple, Aerohive Networks), CTO Zac Blume (renowned battery storage and power electronics designer and engineer)
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Here's what we like: We’ve been looking at dozens of lithium-ion battery deals online in the last couple of years, but it has been a while since we have seen a company like Inergy growing its revenue from $5.6 million in 2021 to $8.8 million in 2022. Unsurprisingly, the company’s patented portable and stackable battery storage is pretty well differentiated in the space. Inergy’s batteries provide flexibility for households needing a backup when the grid is unreliable or using the energy generated by solar panels at night. Inergy partners with solar installers, including Inergy’s batteries as part of their solar systems, and automatically drives sales for the company.
Inergy also gets around 30% of its revenue from B2B channels. It has impressively secured contracts with the US Department of Energy and the Department of Defense and created Flex Tactical, a water, shock, and dust-proof battery for them. These partnerships provide valuable opportunities for expansion and market penetration. Inergy is also working with Idaho NLab to build microgrid software and diversify its revenue sources.
The clean technology and energy storage market is highly competitive, but Inergy’s solid revenue performance and notable contracts demonstrate its ability to navigate and thrive in this crowded landscape. Its low valuation of $20 million makes it a substantial investment opportunity.
Here's what we don't: Inergy lost over $1 million last year. Its high monthly burn rate impacts the company’s cash reserves, increasing the risk of insolvency if it cannot generate positive cash flows or raise more capital soon.
The highly competitive battery storage market, with at least 292 competitors in the United States, is also a threat to the company. While Inergy’s technology differs from most competitors, its stackable technology is similar to Joule Case, and its dust-proof Flex Tactical battery brings it close to Amped Innovation’s offering. Even if Inergy operates in different markets than Joule Case and Amped Innovation, the competition is risky. This could limit Inergy’s ability to capture a significant market share and achieve comprehensive profitability. Furthermore, the risk of new competitors emerging is high.
Would you invest in Inergy?
ON THE POD 🎙️
On this episode, Chris speaks with Katrina Spade, Founder and CEO of Recompose. Katrina offers a fresh perspective on the funeral industry by introducing a sustainable and environment-friendly alternative to traditional death care: human composting. With a unique blend of personal curiosity and environmental responsibility, Katrina discusses the journey of founding Recompose and its mission to transform how we perceive and handle death into a regenerative process for the Earth.
Listen to the full episode here
TOP-RATED DEALS 🌶️
Immersed has created spatial computing software leveraging AR/VR technology to transform how the workforce operates virtually effectively. Immersed’s groundbreaking solution facilitates collaborative working, whiteboarding, and pair programming, all from distant locations.
Valuation: $148 million
Minimum Investment: $100
Queens is a food brand deeply rooted in Korean American culinary traditions, committed to its patrons' well-being and environmental sustainability. Renowned for its array of offerings, which includes daily fresh banchan, ferments, a diverse range of hot and cold foods, and signature products like Ssam Jang, Queens sources its ingredients from Northern California and emphasizes sustainability in its operations.
Valuation: $3.5 million
Minimum Investment: $100
Soteria Battery Innovation Group stands at the forefront of battery safety, having engineered a unique lithium-ion battery technology that effectively prevents fire hazards in commonly utilized devices. This innovation ensures battery safety by halting energy flow during short-circuit instances. Further bolstering its technology, Soteria uses a combination of thermally stable separators and metalized film current collectors for battery reliability.
Valuation: $50 million
Minimum Investment: $498