Launching Gridshare—democratising clean energy access through fractional ownership


Launching Gridshare—democratising clean energy access through fractional ownership

Words Founders Factory

April 11th 2024 / 3 min read

The problem

Society requires wide scale investment into and uptake of renewable energy in order to achieve net zero emissions. Solar, among the top sources of clean power especially in warmer climate countries, is seriously lagging behind. Italy, for instance, has a gap of 600GW of solar panels that needs to be reached by 2030.

There are microeconomic factors to consider too. The constant and rapid increase in energy costs over recent years has led to an increased interest in domestic solar ownership through installing photovoltaic (PV) panels on home roofs. But there are many associated problems here. For one, installing solar panels is a significant investment, with an average payback period of 20 years. That’s not to mention the logistical challenges of having a suitable roof for solar installation, or more fundamentally, if you don’t own the house that you live in.

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The solution

Gridshare wants to democratise access to renewable energy by offering customers the chance to crowd-invest and own shares in new solar farms. Gridshare identifies opportunities for the construction of new solar farms, raises capital to finance these projects through crowdfunding, managing the project from start to finish. 

By crowd-invest through Gridshare, customers get access not just to clean energy but to lower, more predictable energy costs. This overcomes the limitations for those unable to afford or install solar panels. Moreover, investment is linked to the individual rather than the house, allowing anyone living in a flat, or renting, to own their virtual panels and protect themselves from energy price surges.

The team

Giovanni Maria Antignani (CEO & co-founder)

Giovanni brings years of experience working in tech startups, having held senior growth and project manager roles at WashOut, papernest, and FlexCar. He is a second time founder, having co-founded, a platform for joint leaving cards. 

Riccardo Santoro (COO & co-founder)

Riccardo has wide reaching experience in operational leadership roles at startups, as well as in renewables. At Fri-El (one of Italy’s largest renewable power companies), he spent several years structuring project financing worth more than €300m for solar plants, wind farms and biomass plants, before joining Ecolutions, where he helped with the financing and construction of solar projects. Other roles include Head of Operations at StoreKit, a restaurant order management system, and Head of RevOps at B2B payment business ShieldPay. He is also co-founder of Pulp Wine, a digital wine club. 

Why we’re excited to invest

Nick le Fevre, Director of Partnerships at Founders Factory, says: “As a renter, it’s frustrating being left out of the renewable energy revolution. Gridshare is so exciting because it enables millions of people like me to buy into the economic and environmental benefits of solar, without any changes to the building I live in. It’s a thrill getting to work on bringing this to life with the Gridshare team.”

Request for the community?

Gridshare are looking for:

  • Potential investors or businesses who might be interested in crowd-investing in their first solar project (see more details below)

  • Contacts with brokers who could resell an investment in their plant

Gridshare are now crowdfunding their first solar project

They are offering the opportunity to fund and gain fractional ownership of a newly-constructed solar farm.

Find out more here
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