Tuesday, July 28, 2009

SunRun: Home solar financing pioneer expands with new funding

SunRun, the leading provider of home solar power, today announced it closed a Series B round of funding for $18 million led by Accel Partners and joined by existing investor, Foundation Capital. SunRun plans to use the funding to meet strong demand for its popular residential solar service, expand into new markets and build on the Company's recent successes.

The Company has experienced rapid growth since its founding in early 2007, marked by expansions outside of its initial California market into Massachusetts and Arizona in early 2009, and has achieved 300 percent growth this calendar year alone. This funding round follows U.S. Bancorp's commitment in November 2008 for project financing for up to $105 million in solar facilities and a $12 million Series A financing round led by Foundation Capital in June 2008. Rich Wong from Accel Partners will join SunRun's Edward Fenster and Lynn Jurich, Charles Moldow from Foundation Capital and David Buzby, also Chairman of SunEdison, on the Company's Board of Directors.

SunRun makes it affordable and turnkey for homeowners to switch to solar power by delivering immediate savings on utility bills with minimal start-up cost. For as little as $1,000 down, SunRun will arrange to purchase customized home solar equipment from an authorized local solar contractor and then sell the solar electricity at a fixed, discounted rate lower than the homeowner's current electricity bill. Over time, as utility rates increase, the homeowner accumulates significant savings.

"Getting solar is one of the most important things homeowners can do to make a positive impact on their local environment and monthly expenses," said Edward Fenster, CEO of SunRun. "Most people don't have $30,000 to spend on solar equipment and don't want to worry about taking care of a $50,000 asset. SunRun makes solar a reality for people who wouldn't otherwise have considered it, and we're finally at the point where it makes financial sense as well as environmental sense for a majority of homes."

CEO Edward Fenster and President Lynn Jurich started SunRun as classmates at Stanford's Graduate School of Business with the mission of making renewable energy both affordable and economically viable. The Company's first system was on the roof of Fenster's home in San Francisco, and today SunRun provides solar electricity to more than a thousand customers.

The Company's unique approach includes partnering with locally-based solar companies that help generate local green jobs. SunRun carefully selects high-quality installers in each of the markets it serves. As demand for SunRun's service grows, so do jobs with SunRun's local installation partners.

Accel Partners is a leading venture capital and growth equity firm specializing in groundbreaking companies across multiple industries including Internet, clean technology, digital media, software and communications. Accel has backed the market leaders that have sparked significant revolutions in their categories, such as: Facebook, Glam, Admob, Trulia, RealNetworks, UUNet, MetroPCS, BBN, Arrowpoint, Macromedia, XenSource, Walmart.com, Zimbra and many others.

"SunRun has emerged as the leading residential solar player by removing the largest obstacles to adoption, expanding affordability to the masses and reducing complexity for the consumer," said Rich Wong, Accel Partners board member and lead investor. "Accel has helped build companies such as Facebook into global leaders, and we see that same potential in SunRun. We're thrilled to be a part of SunRun's bright future."

"SunRun's pioneering approach to home solar makes it easy and affordable for many homeowners to make the switch to clean energy," said Steve Vassallo, venture partner at Foundation Capital. "Whether it was with Netflix, which dreamed of changing the way videos are rented, or SunRun, which is enabling solar for the masses, Foundation Capital has been very fortunate to invest in some of the world's most successful, mission-driven entrepreneurs."

1 comment:

Bob said...

Residential and home solar energy systems are becoming more affordable . . . and that's great! Unfortunately, however, purchasers of these systems are being lead to believe that they will dramatically reduce their utility bill simply by piling (still relatively expensive) solar panels up on their roof. Not so!

In order to dramatically reduce utility bills, most residential and commercial building owners will need to reduce their energy consumption first. There are many relatively inexpensive ways to do that (without changing lifestyles).

Getting energy consumption under control first will greatly reduce the number of (expensive) solar panels up on a roof. And, in combination, energy reductions and solar panels can dramatically reduce almost any energy bill.

For more see www.BigGreenZero.com.

Bob Roth