From wind power in 2009 to solar power today, Okwind has taken time to find its way. But today, with more than 50% market share in France and 26 million euros in turnover, it is time for it to integrate the Stock Exchange. In Paris, on Euronext Growth, the Breton nugget did not wait very long to get started.
The operation was announced on June 1st and now it will be effective today. With the new capital raised, the startup member of the French Tech 120 (FT120) selection intends to expand internationally and hire 50 new people during the year.
To manage to capture more than half of the French demand, Okwind imagined a “tracker”, a system which allows the solar panel to pivot automatically in order to follow the orientation of the sun. A gain of 70 to 80% compared to a conventional installation, and a godsend for the nugget that manages the complete installation of the device, including the solar panel.
130 employees near Rennes
Witnessing booming demand, Okwind’s sales in 2015 did not allow it to exceed one million euros in turnover for the year. In seven years, therefore, the company has multiplied its performance by 26 times. In its customers, the company very quickly made the choice to deploy a range for companies and another for individuals, just to embrace a greater number of orders.
Production is entirely French and there were 131 employees at the start of 2022. Okwind has its factories for B2C and B2B equipment in Vitré in Ile-et-Vilaine. Its solar panels are not produced locally, but via three partners (Okwind has never revealed their names yet, they would be European and Chinese).
In its teams, many work on the algorithm at the heart of the system optimization system. They continue to think about systems to allow facilities to store excess production (on very sunny days). One of the current solutions is the hot water tank, to avoid having to spend energy heating water at night.
With surfaces of up to 117 m2 of solar panels, the tracker’s algorithm is also essential to be able to react and prevent bad weather conditions, particularly wind. In France, other companies have entered the market for solar panel trackers: Optimum Tracker (very present internationally) and Nexans. Objective for all: do better on efficiency to boost energy yields and do the most qualitative to avoid maintenance.