Ikea – the ‘cheapie’ Swedish housewares store we can’t do without – is planning to invest 50 million euros in cleantech start-ups with the with the goal of eventually selling solar panels, smart meters and other technology in its stores.
Most of the investments would initially be concentrated in Europe but other regions for potential investment projects will also be considered. Ikea currently has about 270 stores worldwide with 5 locations in Australia’s capital cities
Ikea GreenTech plans to focus on five areas:
Johan Stenebo of Ikea Greentech says these products will follow the same guidelines as the company’s other products – ‘really low prices and very good quality’.
Over the next two years, Ikea plans to work with five or six companies, with a target of bringing the first products to market within three to four years, helping the startups reduce their prices and develop better products.
Ikea expects to invest in five to 10 companies overall, keeping the portfolio relatively small so it spend a lot of time with the startups.
“We will be very active on the boards of these companies…I think we can contribute somewhat in terms of commercializing the product they are developing, and then, obviously, distributing the product as well,” says Johan.
Times, they are a-changin’….