Australian start-up UPowr has won a federal government grant to accelerate the development and deployment of an all-digital sales platform, that the company hopes will shake-up the solar and storage market.
UPowr said the innovative digital platform would allow customers to generate personalised quotes for the installation of solar and battery storage, as well as helping to optimise the positioning of solar panels on their property, taking shading and location into account.
The platform also manages the logistics of the sales and installation process, including providing ongoing insights and support for customers, without a reliance on dated sales tactics.
“The platform manages the entire installation, providing ongoing support and system performance insights for households, simultaneously tackling many of the challenges facing Australia’s solar industry,” the company said in a statement.
The company pitches its sales platform as an end-to-end solution, that manages the initial expressions of interest from potential customers, through to the quote and sales management processes. The platform has integrated data-driven algorithms to provide accurate and specific quotes for the installation of solar and storage.
The company launched the platform in October last year, which uses information provided by prospective customers, including energy use data and property locations, to generate personalised offerings. Over the last 12 months, almost 1,000 customers have used the platform.
UPowr has secured a $493,746 grant from the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources under the Accelerating Commercialisation grants program. CEO and co-founder Stu Philpot said the commercialisation grant would help the company accelerate the development and deployment of the platform.
“We are excited to receive funding through this program. We set out to create an end-to-end service that puts customers first and this funding will help to take us to the next level,” Philpot said.
“Australia is a world-leader in rooftop solar and this funding will help us to change the way it is delivered to offer a better experience for customers.”
Company CIO and co-founder, Daniel Friedman, said that UPowr would continue to focus on the development of the digital platform, including by ensuring that the platform can be adapted for use by different types of customers.
“To date, our focus has been completely on the customer-facing portal, along with the automation that ensures an installation is completed without avoidable error,” Friedman said.
“This funding will allow us to build out the portals that will be used by our network of accredited installers, as well as business partners who want to provide their customer or member bases with simple, clear and easily managed access to installing solar – a good example of this might be large corporates who want to offer employees access to solar.”
Also receiving a commercialisation grant from the federal government are the producers of a seaweed supplement, originally discovered by the CSIRO, which has the potential to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the raising of sheep and cows, when small amounts are mixed into feed.