Beem Energy is the promise of a photovoltaic kit to install yourself to produce your own renewable energy. The set of four panels is sold for 780 euros. It produces between 350 to 450 kilowatt-hours per year, or about 15% of a household’s electricity consumption, excluding heating. The promise is attractive both for the end consumer and for brands specializing in the home Leroy Merlin and Boulanger, the two major brands of DIY and household appliances.
Created in 2019 by Ralph Feghali, Arthur Kenzo and Pierre-Emmanuel Roger, Beem Energy took 18 months to develop its product. “From the start, we joined the start-up studio Imagination Machine run by serial entrepreneur from Sillicon Valley Rob Spiro,” says Ralph Feghali. This “tech for good” ecosystem played like a magnet and attracted quite a few people, including the Leroy Merlin store in Nantes. “
The dream of many entrepreneurs
Beem Energy is still in the process of prototyping, but the concept is already attractive. The co-founders and managers of Leroy Merlin agree to test a first version of the solar kit in-store, before considering its marketing. “It was a demonstration copy that allowed people to then order on our site, in the summer of 2020,” continues the CEO of Beem Energy. The operation generated several hundred leads, which were gradually converted.
For Boulanger, it is also the sign that spotted Beem Energy and made contact via the chat of the young shoot. The product is first tested in a few pilot stores. Even before a global deployment in stores, the start-up claimed in September 2021 over 1,500 kits sold in France. The start-up is gradually ramping up, starting with around ten stores, before being distributed throughout the network of the two brands.
Getting the attention of two giants so early in the launch phase of an innovative product is the dream of many entrepreneurs. For Beem Energy, distribution in specialized supermarkets was part of the initial business model. “If we want to democratize the use of the solar kit, we need to be referenced by such actors. “
Maintain a direct sales channel
But without a lot of means for prospecting, how can you be identified with them? “By creating a good product that people want,” says Ralph Feghali. We have not changed our discourse to adapt it to distributors: it is the same as the one we present to end customers, and its resonance is strong enough to convince. These brands have a very marked ambition to base the strategy for the coming years on CSR, and this is naturally reflected in the product offer they send to their consumers. “
The solution: start from customer needs and iterate directly with them to improve the product and find the most impactful messages. This is one of the reasons why Beem Energy has chosen not to concentrate its distribution solely on specialized supermarkets and to maintain direct sales, via its own merchant site. “In this way, we keep a follow-up of customers from A to Z, which gives us a detailed understanding of their expectations. “
“When it comes to an innovative product like ours, it’s very important because you have to allay a lot of fears. We must also maintain this agility to continue to develop our messages, test our new products and grow internationally. These are precisely the new objectives set by Beem Energy. And to successfully deploy it on a larger scale, the co-founders successfully raised 7 million euros in funds in October 2021.