Cate Blanchett's Solar Investment Paying Off
Sungevity, a rapidly growing three-year-old California solar installer, announced today that it has raised $15 million in a new round of funding. That’s enough to allow the company to expand operations and start targeting the east coast. States like New Jersey, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania are part of six on the radar.
Cate Blanchett was an original primary investor when the startup launched in April 2008; helmed by fellow Australian, activist Danny Kennedy. The basic idea was to make the entire process of going solar as easy as buying a car. Basically, you hit the website, pop in your address, and the software automatically analyzes your roof and comes up with the proper array + costs savings you would expect.
Once you place your order, a pre-packaged solar array is sent to your home, and an installation crew is dispatched. In the meantime, a database keeps track of all the necessary permits, fills them out, and send them to you for a signature. Additionally, the installation crew is sent all the local regulations governing solar arrays.
In three years, the process has become even easier. Earlier this year, US Bank came up with an equity fund that allows homeowners to obtain a solar array for no money down and a monthly payment that can be offset by the savings on their electricity bill. According to Reuters, in return, US Bank gets to take a 30 percent federal investment tax credit on the installations.
WIN/WIN. Which is why investors are seriously giddy about Sungevity’s growth and potential moving forward. Nice move, Cate.