Sungevity closes $125 million in funding


The U.S. photovoltaic leasing market continues to develop as programs are extended into new states. To facilitate its continued development Californian based Sungevity has secured a new round of equity and project funding.

Sungevity’s latest round of financing is for up to $125 million. The $40 million in equity financing has come from Brightpath Capital Partners, which is an Oakland neighbor to Sungevity, and home improvement retailer Lowe’s. Vision Ridge Partners, Craton Equity Partners and Eastern Sun Capital Partners have joined as new equity investors.

Energy Capital Parnters and a "leading commercial bank" have provided the $85 million in project financing.

Sungevity has rolled out its service to nine U.S. states. It also has developed a presence in the Netherlands, through Zonline. In April, Sungevity entered into a joint venture to roll out Sungevity Australia – co-founder and former Greenpeace activitst David Kennedy is an Australian.

"We believe this new funding will take us into the next phase of growth and allow us to deliver on our mission of building the world’s most energized network of customers who power their lives with sunshine," said Andrew Birch , Sungevity’s CEO, in a statement announcing the new round of funding.

"While overshadowed by news in the solar manufacturing sector, the downstream market, particularly residential solar, continues to experience rapid growth," said Rob Davenport, Brightpath Capital’s Managing Partner, in the statement. "Sungevity’s model has demonstrated cost advantages and margin expansion potential that are unique within the sector and we believe the company is positioned for sustained growth."

Sungevity claims that it reduced installation costs by 30% in 2012. The company utilizes satellite imagery to assess suitability of homes for photovoltaic installation and can design arrays remotely. Sungevity calls it the Remote Solar Design Technology.

Perhaps drawing on Kennedy’s work in the NGO sector, Sungevity put in place its Solar Social Strategy last year. Through the strategy, the company works with both profit and non-profit organizations to bring down the cost of customer acquisition. The companies it works with in this capacity are Lowe’s, Credo Mobile and the Sierra Club.