Birmingham-based climatetech startup Furbnow secures £950k in pre-seed funding to bring to market its revolutionary end-to-end home decarbonisation platform to get more homes to Net Zero, without the hassle.
The investment comes as Furbnow plans a trial with Birmingham City Council’s Route to Net Zero team in early 2024 to improve the energy efficiency of those households ineligible for grant funding.
SFC Capital led the investment round, with participation from Norrsken Accelerator, and angel investor Daniel Luhde-Thompson. The round also includes a grant from Innovate UK’s Future Economy Investor Partnership and Nesta and Founders Factory’s Mission Studio.
Globally, emissions from homes account for approximately 20% of carbon emissions. In the UK alone, we need to retrofit 2 homes every minute to hit the UK’s target of Net Zero by 20502.
Currently, 97% of homes are classed as inefficient and not ready for the Net Zero target and we are off the pace of delivering on the target nationally and globally. Birmingham-based Furbnow was founded by Becky Lane (energy efficiency industry expert) and Laurence Watson (serial climate tech entrepreneur and data scientist).
With almost 20 years – of experience across energy, buildings and technology, they are on a mission to retrofit one million homes by 2030 by eliminating the hassle from every stage of the home energy improvement process.
Becky Lane, co-founder and CEO of Furbnow said, “Everyone deserves a warm, comfortable home without costly bills and yet 11.7 million homes sit at the D energy rating or less. Sadly, energy efficiency has been the poor relation to the low-carbon technologies that grab headlines. But if your home is cold and draughty, no amount of Co2 savings is going to be better for you. We’re building Furbnow to be the go-to platform for homeowners who want advice and support as they plan and install low carbon technologies and energy efficiency elements in homes,”.
Matt Seden, Chief Strategy Officer at Nesta, said: “Homeowners are increasingly interested in making their homes more climate-friendly, especially if they can save on their energy bills at the same time and still stay warm all year. Furbnow simplifies a retrofitting process that can otherwise be surprisingly complex and laborious, with end-to-end expert support, making it easy and convenient for homeowners. From its beginnings as a Mission Studio concept, Furbnow is now an innovative tech start-up in its own right, with the potential to help decarbonise a million homes and accelerate the UK’s path to net zero.”
Jason Druker, Portfolio Manager at SFC Capital added: “Retrofitting is a strong investment theme at the moment, and rightly so given its influence on getting us to Net Zero and its potential impact on the cost of living crisis. Nearly half the emissions that cause climate change come from our offices, shops, schools and more critically from our homes. Furbnow can be an influential solution and is at the forefront of making retrofitting more accessible and affordable for households. We are excited to be working with them and supporting their journey.”
Alex Bakir, GP, Norrsken Accelerator said: “Improving the efficiency of our building stock has been the elephant in the room in climate change discussions for decades. For the first time, Furbnow is bringing a holistic approach to the problem space, with a leadership team that knows the sector inside out, and is deeply committed to fixing it”.
Furbnow, Data scientist and serial climate tech entrepreneur Laurence Watson, along with energy efficiency industry expert Becky Lane, launched the Birmingham-based startup. In order to determine the optimal course of action and oversee the entire process.
The company employs digital twin technology to virtually test drive various energy- and carbon-saving solutions in people’s homes, such as heat pumps, insulation, and solar panels. This allows them to connect with green tech providers.