Investors Are Betting on a Bright Future for Oakland-Based Solar Business
Have you heard of Sungevity? Maybe, but then again, maybe not. If you happen to live in one of the markets they serve, then you’ve probably seen their cheerful orange Toyota Priuses cruising around.
You may also have read about the company’s successful campaign (nicknamed “Globama”) to put solar panels back on the White House. President Carter had them installed back in 1979, but Reagan had them removed a mere seven years later.
Remember the Name
OK, so Sungevity isn’t a household name yet, but that could very well change in the near future. The solar company currently serves clients in 12 U.S. states, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
Using its proprietary Remote Solar Design application, Sungevity is able to provide potential clients with quotes and system design options remotely. Sungevity also aims to make solar more affordable, by helping customers lease or secure long-term financing. In addition to providing quotes and financing options, the firm offers solar system installation management and maintenance.
Big Growth for Sungevity
The company has been growing rapidly over the past few years, outstripping even its own optimistic forecasts for revenue and hiring. In some ways, Sungevity’s growth parallels the rapid growth of the solar industry as a whole but it’s become clear that this ambitious firm is going places. Investors have taken note. Sungevity has drawn investment dollars from Lowe’s Home Improvement, General Electric, Jetstream Ventures, and E.ON.
The Sun God Smiles on Sungevity
Now, a consortium led by the fittingly named Apollo Investment has provided Sungevity with $600 million in new project financing. Another $50 million came in the form of equity financing from investors. This sudden influx of capital marks 2015’s single largest financing of a privately held solar company.
While Apollo Global has traditional focused on more traditional energy investments such as oil and natural gas, the firm seems quite bullish about solar energy’s future. Apollo Investment has also invested in other solar firms, though its newfound stake in Sungevity is its largest to date.
Sungevity will use the money to expand operations into additional markets, forge new business partnerships, and develop new solar projects. The company estimates that the additional funds will effectively add up to 400 megawatts to U.S. solar energy production capacity over the next few years.
Savvy investors will tell you that a company that disrupts an existing industry is a company to watch. Sungevity happens to be a disruptive company in an already disruptive industry, so it seems poised to cause some very profitable upheaval in the corridors of electric power.
[Photo via: Bizjournal]
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