Leonardo DiCaprio said to be strategic investor in Catalan green energy startup SolarMente

- March 14, 2024

SolarMente, a Catalan solar energy startup founded in 2020 and backed by Y Combinator, has attracted the attention of one of Hollywood’s most elite actors: Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio.

The American actor has become a voice against climate change, promoting the importance of caring for the planet. One of his recent endeavors as an environmental activist has been supporting green projects.

According to The New Barcelona Post, SolarMente founders Wouter Draijer and Victor Gardrinier emailed DiCaprio’s environmental foundation with a collaboration proposal. 

A couple of weeks later, they received a response and the parties held talks over a period of months.

The negotiations culminated in a successful meeting with the team and the actor himself in Beverly Hills, California where they hammered out the details of the deal.

DiCaprio will reportedly become a strategic investor in the startup in a deal expected to close later on this year. The deal also reportedly includes a three-year collaboration commitment between the parties. 

SolarMente has not yet disclosed the amount of investment made by the actor, although they have promised to reveal the figure soon. However, it is known that the actor’s involvement in the company is not limited to just investment. He will be working as a collaborator for the next three years, to help raise awareness of the company.

“SolarMente facilitates accessibility to solar energy, making my support as an investor a responsible and strategic choice towards a cleaner future,” said DiCaprio, according to Business Insider.

The company allows access to photovoltaic installations through a subscription-based model. DiCaprio was reportedly attracted to the project for its potential to facilitate widespread access to green energy solutions. 

SolarMente’s model eliminates the upfront financial investment typically required to access PV self-consumption solutions. Instead, the company sets up a monthly subscription that requires no upfront costs and includes the necessary installation, maintenance, and insurance, allowing users not only to produce their solar energy but also the option to store and sell the energy that is not used.

In 2021 SolarMente entered the San Francisco-based Y Combinator accelerator, and a few months later raised €1.8 million. Last year the company received backing from private equity firm GNE Finance, raising an additional €50 million.

According to Crunchbase, there are 473 companies and startups in the solar energy industry in Spain. 

SolarMente’s proposition with a subscription model is quite promising in making solar energy more accessible, which could lead to a growing customer base. 

The company has reportedly completed 1,200 installations so far and aims to reach 10,000 solar installations in the next few years.