With each of our innovator stories, we get a chance to meet the people behind EU-funded ideas, which have the potential to change our future for the better. 

Omniflow was chosen as the best pitch from Dealflow.eu’s Renewable Energy E-pitching Event held on April 2024, and we had an insightful conversation with Pedro Ruão, founder and CEO of the startup. 

Omniflow’s main innovation is an integrated Smart Lamp post powered by wind and solar energy. It transforms a regular streetlight into a sustainable smart infrastructure featuring multiple services such as 5G/LTE Small Cell, public Wi-Fi, security cameras, EV charging, IoT sensors/gateways and integrated audio for public communication. 

Omniflow received EUR 205k in funding from Horizon Europe’s several programmes.  

Every time we replace an old light with our system, we save over 90% in CO2 emissions by reducing power consumption from the grid. 

Tell us more about yourself and your work?

My name is Pedro Ruão, and I am the founder and CEO of Omniflow. I established Omniflow about a decade ago during the EDP Richard Branson Innovation Award, where the initial concept was born. Since then, our company has evolved from this original idea of a device that harnesses wind and solar energy to a comprehensive platform for cities. Our technology retrofits old streetlights, transforming them into a system powered by wind and solar energy, which reduces power consumption by over 90% compared to traditional lighting.


What problem is your product solving and what makes its solution unique?

Currently, there are over 500 million streetlights worldwide that use outdated and inefficient technology, only providing basic lighting. We see these infrastructures as ideal for not only optimizing and reducing power consumption by more than 90% but also serving as hubs for advanced technologies. Our solution enhances cities’ capabilities to deliver real-time information and services, ultimately improving the lives of their citizens. 

How did you start your journey, and where are you now on the road to achieving your ambition?

We began in 2012 with the initial concept, securing funds to develop it and form a company. Our first minimum viable product was launched in 2013 as a basic energy solution. In 2016, we transitioned to a business-to-business model, introducing our city platform with multiple services. After deploying pilots in various markets, we now operate in 35 countries with over 3000 units installed globally. Our market is continuously evolving and growing. We are moving towards city-scale projects, expanding from just a few pilots to larger projects that will scale up our company significantly.


What is the biggest impact EU-funding has had on your journey so far, and can you specify an outcome? 

EU funding was pivotal during our transition from an energy company to a business-to-business city platform provider. The funding helped us gain media coverage, including features in Euronews articles, which brought important contacts. It enabled us to develop air quality monitoring projects that we now use and sell worldwide. Additionally, EU programs have allowed us to participate in global expos like CES in Las Vegas and Gitex in Dubai, which were instrumental in securing contacts and contracts in these key markets. 

Have you already tested your product with clients? What was it like?

We have two types of customers: those who are hesitant to try new things and those who are open to innovation and taking risks. We focus on the latter, particularly cities that are willing to pilot new technologies. Testing has been very positive, and we are now at a stage where it is easier to deploy widely, even to more risk-averse customers. Our established network of existing customers and proven business cases make potential clients more comfortable adopting our innovative solutions.  

What is your company’s greatest achievement to date?

Our greatest achievement is the impact we are making. Every time we replace an old light with our system, we save over 90% in CO2 emissions by reducing power consumption from the grid. Additionally, we eliminate the need for civil works and additional infrastructure. With 3000 units deployed, we have already saved significant tons of CO2. Our goal is to have a positive impact on the world by reducing CO2 emissions and maximizing the use of existing infrastructure.  


How do you see your company making a difference in the future?

Our first step is to reduce the CO2 footprint of infrastructures. In the future, we envision ourselves as an urban platform for emerging services. For example, the next generation of 5G will require city-level applications, and streetlights are ideal for this purpose. They also provide the perfect infrastructure for connected mobility and autonomous vehicles. We can integrate these technologies into our units. We aim to evolve with the latest needs of cities, deploying new technologies using existing units rather than building new ones.


Why is participating in Dealflow.eu’s e-pitching event and receiving their coaching important to you?

The coaching feedback from the e-pitching event was invaluable. While we already had a strong pitch, the feedback helped us fine-tune some details. The event itself was highly beneficial, leading to several interesting meetings. Having potential contacts see our pitch beforehand saves time and ensures that our interactions are more meaningful. It was a very worthwhile event for us. 


How would you define success and what keeps you going in the pursuit of it?

For me, success means enjoying what I do and waking up every day with the drive to go to work. Our positive impact mission is my primary motivation. For the company, success is about continuous evolution, scaling up sales, improving customer service, and creating an ever-greater positive impact with a team of people that are also happy and relate to the company mission. 


Article published by EurA AG.

About Innovator Spotlight Stories

The aim of innovator stories is to highlight and share with investors and relevant stakeholders in the industry, insights, and unique stories from some of the most innovative EU-funded project that Dealflow.eu is proud to support.

If you are an investor who wants to connect with Volvero, please feel free to reach out at [email protected]

More about Dealflow.eu 

Supported by the European Commission, Dealflow.eu discovers and supports the most promising EU-funded innovators and connects them with relevant investors and corporates. The initiative was launched to help groundbreaking innovations secure the funding needed for their future commercialisation by offering them tailored support and matchmaking services. 

To learn more about Dealflow.eu, visit https://dealflow.eu/ 


Disclaimer: Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.