The super contractor has already given his blessing. Now Climeon, with its unique energy solution, is aiming at the stock exchange.
“We thought it was a joke.”
It is Thomas Öström, one of Climeon’s founders, who tells the unlikely story of how Richard Branson’s multinational group Virgin could find a small, newly started, Swedish energy company.
“We had talked to Viking Line for a good while when in the summer of 2014 they came to KTH where we had our base and asked us to build a solution for marine use.”
It was Climeon’s first real order and the system, which at the time was not even ready-built, was eventually installed on the vessel Viking Grace, where the system today generates clean electricity for 20 hours a day.
“Intentionally we had been careful with attention before the patents were in place. But now we were lucky and got an article in a trade magazine.”
On the other side of the Atlantic, Richard Branson’s Virgin had just decided to enter the cruise industry. But there was a problem. The vessels lacked the environmental investment that the investors demanded.
“One of the Swedish key investors found the newspaper with Climeon on the floor and advised Richard Branson about us. A month later they heard of themselves and came and visited. We were invited to Miami on the inauguration of their first ship where they clearly linked the Virgin brand with Climeon. “
Turned up – and started drawing with crayons
The unique solution that Richard Branson has taken for granted came after idiotic searching, reading and thinking at home in the villa in Sollentuna. It started after a trip to China eleven years ago.
“I was appalled by seeing the climate match in China and decided to find a green solution.”
In the summer of 2010, he suddenly saw an opportunity to make use of waste heat that no one else had seen. He resigned from his job at Micronic and started talking to his neighbor Joachim Karthäuser.
“I needed someone to talk to and he turned out to be a doctor in chemistry. We started drawing solutions with the children’s crayons in the courtyard. Converting hot water into electricity was nothing new, many had tried before. But we didn’t go there everyone else, maybe thanks to the fact that we did not come from the energy technology industry. “
In Climeon’s solution, waste heat, for example from hot water, is captured and drives a turbine which in turn generates electricity. The module is no larger than two times two meters.
Saves emissions corresponding to a smaller country
But customers Viking Line and Virgin Cruises, who ordered 18 systems, are just the beginning for Climeon who has high flying plans.
“We should not build a company with SEK 100 million in turnover. We have high ambitions and want to change the world.”
It is in this context that a stock exchange listing fits in, says Thomas Öström.
“Everything that helps us reach size is good for us. But a stock exchange listing also gives confidence and security to our customers.”
Today, Climeon has a handful of systems on the market. Climeon’s unique system is also used today in other industries such as, for example, the steel industry where Climeon has, among other things, SSAB as a customer.
In 2016, Climeon was named “Climate Solver” by WWF. Together with the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, WWF conducted an independent survey that showed that if Climeon receives 25,000 systems by 2026, it can save the environment 21.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. This corresponds to the emissions from a smaller country.
“The estimate from WWF is, of course, motivating for us, but it is of course a long way to go where much will be going.”
To the stock exchange within 18 months
The list price for a Climeon system is around EUR 350,000.
“The repayment period for a system, which is designed to last for at least 20 years, obviously depends on the electricity price and other external factors, but is between 3 and 7 years. In extreme cases, it can go faster than that.”
To date, Climeon has raised a total of SEK 118 million in a number of financing rounds. But even though the company already has 330 shareholders, the founders Thomas Öström and Joachim Karthäuser still own 40 percent of the capital and 90 percent of the votes.
On the question of why one should become a shareholder when Climeon is listed on the stock exchange within 18 months, he replies:
“We have something that we believe is unique. An offer where our customers have the opportunity to save money while they contribute to combating climate change in the world.”