February 3, 2023

Tackling Climate Change, One Household at a Time

Investing in a greener future with DREM - Accelerating the deployment of heat pumps

Sara Rywe
Tackling Climate Change, One Household at a Time

Residential energy use accounts for about 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the western world. For us to have any chance of reaching net zero, all households will need to rapidly reduce emissions. We have earlier already taken action towards that goal with our investment in Greenely, helping homeowners become aware of their energy consumption and act smartly to reduce it. Today we’re happy to announce that we’re making a second investment in the space. With this investment, we want to help speed up the transition of replacing old-school and environmentally harmful heating systems with eco-friendly heat pumps.

In the UK alone, the Climate Change Committee has suggested that one million heat pumps will need to be installed per year in new and existing homes by 2030 (Figure 3.2.c) to reach net zero targets. And beyond the serious need for a solution from an environmental perspective, the demand for home energy renovations is also on the rise since households seek to combat the sky-rocketing gas prices.

Source: The Sixth Carbon Budget - The UKs path to net zero 

Heat pumps need to be deployed, quickly

Luckily, many initiatives are already in place to ensure that heat pumps get deployed sooner rather than later. The European Commission's REPowerEU initiative aims to install 30 million new heat pumps by 2030, saving the EU 35 billion cubic meters of gas consumption per year. Moreover, governments are introducing regulations and incentives to support the transition to environmentally friendly heating solutions, such as the UK government offering £5,000 grants for 90,000 households to install heat pumps and other low-carbon heating systems over the next three years. Furthermore, Germany has decided that any new heating system installed after January 1, 2025, must run on renewable energy, and France is shifting subsidies to support the installation of new heat pumps. 

In the US, the Biden administration even considered “a wartime industrial effort to mass-manufacture heat pumps and ship them across the Atlantic to help Europeans wean themselves off Russian gas.”

The issue: the process of buying heat pumps is broken

Getting a heat pump installed is inefficient, with installers using outdated, offline sales processes, leading to slow and expensive deployment. This leads to an alarming imbalance between consumers’ demand and need of our planet versus actual supply. Drem is here to change that.

The Dre(a)m founders - pun intended 🙃 - Babak, Hannes, and David, have created a marketplace and platform for deploying distributed renewable energy, starting with heat pumps. Think of it as a one-stop shop that radically improves the consumer experience of buying and owning a heat pump. This includes a customer-centric online sales journey with support from an in-house sales team, complete with algorithmic pricing, and an installer marketplace that gives installers access to home renovation projects.

byFounders leads the pre-seed round in Drem

We are thrilled to lead the pre-seed round in Drem alongside a prominent group of investors such as Tane Fund by Redstone, Wiski Capital spearheaded by Monika Inde Zsak, prominent angels, and a US-based climate fund led by Robert Pollak (prev. Partner at SV Angels) including notable names such as Marc Benioff (CEO of Salesforce), Ron Conway (founder of SV Angels), Jeff Wilke (former #2 at Amazon), David Wallerstein (senior executive at Tencent leading all climate initiatives), Michelle Wilson (former General Counsel of Amazon), and Fred Hu (first angel in Alibaba and Tencent).

As you know from above, the decarbonization of homes represents a massive market opportunity that is expected to see exponential growth in the next decade. The Drem team is perfectly positioned to capture this market opportunity with their complementary skills, focus on execution, and relevant experience from leading European commercialization at a fast-growing VC-backed solar panel startup. 

It’s a rare opportunity to support a team on such a valuable mission, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds!

And by the way, they’re hiring! See job opportunities here.

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Sara Rywe

Sara is a Partner at byFounders.

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