In The New York Times on Tuesday, I write about SunRun, a San Francisco solar leasing company that has scored a whopping $55 million round of equity funding:
SunRun, a San Francisco start-up that leases rooftop solar arrays to homeowners, said Tuesday it had raised $55 million from investors.
The equity investment led by Sequoia Capital, a prominent Silicon Valley venture firm, is one of the largest made in a solar leasing firm and a sign that companies are poised for a major expansion beyond the industry’s core market in California.
The investment follows a $100 million tax equity fund PG&E Corporation, the utility holding company, created last week to finance residential solar installations for SunRun customers. PG&E Corporation in January formed a $60 million financing pool for SolarCity, a Silicon Valley competitor to SunRun. SolarCity is also tapping $190 million in tax equity funds created over the past year for the company by U.S. Bancorp.
“If the $55 million is going to actual corporate expansion, it is one of the largest corporate fund-raisings we’ve seen for that purpose in this space,” said Nathaniel Bullard, a solar analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “It speaks to the opportunity outside of California, in the Southwest and the Northeast.”
The investment is nearly double the $30 million SunRun had previously raised from Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners and Foundation Capital.
“We’re seeing early signs of an inflection point in the market where the cost of offering a solar solution is becoming cheaper than utility pricing,” said Warren Hogarth, a partner at Sequoia Capital, an early investor in Apple, Google and Yahoo. “We’re moving from people buying solar because it’s a nice thing to do to buying solar because it makes economic sense.”
You can read the rest of the story here.