Clean Power Finance said it raised $25 million from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Google Ventures, Claremont Creek Ventures, Clean Pacific Ventures and Sand Hill Angels. The solar startup also appointed Robert “Nat” Kreamer, a co-founder of competitor SunRun, its new CEO. It was unclear when the financing round closed. News reports said money from Kleiner and Google Ventures may have been agreed to late last year. Kleiner led the round.
Clean Power Finance Receives $25 Million Investment Led By Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Nat Kreamer Joins as New CEO
Residential solar finance pioneer to lead company, investment to facilitate solar financing
Menlo Park, Calif. and San Francisco—September 2, 2011— Clean Power Finance (CPF), the leading provider of integrated services and financing solutions for the solar industry, today announced the close of a total $25 million investment from new investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and Google Ventures. The company has appointed a new Chief Executive Officer, Robert “Nat” Kreamer who is a solar finance pioneer and co-founder of SunRun.
Led by KPCB’s Green Growth Fund with participation from Google Ventures, Claremont Creek Ventures, Clean Pacific Ventures and Sand Hill Angels, the new investment enables Clean Power Finance to continue building on its industry-leading platform to deliver more cost-effective point-of-sale financing to the burgeoning U.S. solar market.
“Clean Power Finance’s platform is transforming the way business is done in the residential solar industry,” said Ben Kortlang, KPCB partner and Clean Power Finance board member. “This platform will enable a highly efficient, growing, profitable value chain in the solar industry.”
“There is a large opportunity for the renewable energy marketplace to embrace powerful technologies to scale and deliver products to customers,” said Joe Kraus Google Ventures Partner and co-founder of Excite.com and JotSpot. “Clean Power Finance is at the forefront of this trend and is well positioned to maintain a leading share with its management team, solutions and customer base.”
As Chief Executive Officer, Kreamer brings deep category expertise to Clean Power Finance. Under Kreamer’s leadership SunRun launched the industry’s first residential solar financing offering in 2007. Today solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) and leases are the driving force behind solar adoption among homeowners, creating an easy and low cost way to go solar. In the first quarter of 2011, PPAs/leases accounted for more than a third of all residential solar sales in California and Colorado, according to Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
“I’ve been involved in residential solar financing since its inception,” said Kreamer. “Clean Power Finance is bringing a truly innovative finance offering to this rapidly growing market. Our disruptive model is a critical breakthrough for the industry, delivering more efficient, low-cost financing to a larger number of solar installers.”
Forty percent of residential solar systems sold in the U.S. last year were facilitated by Clean Power Finance’s platform. CPF Tools was the first SaaS, professional-grade solar quoting and proposal application on the market, and today represents the most comprehensive platform connecting solar system installation, design, sales and financing.
“Solar represents the fastest path to US energy independence and to new green jobs. The missing element to the broad adoption for residential and small business solar has been and is financing – until now. Clean Power Finance already provides the best in class, broadly adopted software tools to large and small solar installers alike,” said Nat Goldhaber, Claremont Creek Ventures managing director and Clean Power Finance board member. “Now, Clean Power Finance adds low cost and efficient financing to its offering making the decision to install solar a no brainer for home owners and small businesses. Claremont Creek is proud to move the US towards energy independence and to create great new jobs through its investment in Clean Power Finance.”
Founded by Gary Kremen, a leading entrepreneur who also founded Match.com, CPF customers include the largest solar integrators, panel manufacturers and electrical distributors in the U.S.
Sign up for a free trial of CPF Tools and learn more about financing here.
About Clean Power Finance
Clean Power Finance is driving the mass-market adoption of residential solar by building an online marketplace to connect the solar industry and the capital market. The company provides solar professionals, manufacturers and distributors with access to consumer financing, easy-to-use software and essential services. For investors and lenders, the company makes it easy to deploy capital in residential solar projects. To learn more about how we can accelerate the growth of your business, please visit www.cleanpowerfinance.com
About Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Since its founding in 1972, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has backed entrepreneurs in over 500 ventures, including AOL, Amazon.com, Citrix, Compaq Computer, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Genomic Health, Google, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Netscape, Lotus, Sun Microsystems, Symantec, Verisign and Xilinx. KPCB portfolio companies employ more than 250,000 people. More than 150 of the firm’s portfolio companies have gone public. Many other ventures have achieved success through mergers and acquisitions. The firm has offices in Menlo Park, California; Beijing, China; and Shanghai, China. For additional information visit, www.kpcb.com
About Google Ventures
Google Ventures is the venture capital arm of Google Inc. We seek to discover and help develop great companies, and believe in the power of entrepreneurs to do amazing things. Our investments range from seed to late stage, across a broad range of industries, including consumer Internet, digital media, software, hardware, and biotechnology. We embrace the challenge of helping young companies grow from the proverbial garage to global relevance. For more information, visit www.googleventures.com.
About Claremont Creek Ventures
Claremont Creek Ventures turbocharges the uncommon startup. As a seed and early stage venture firm, it embraces emerging technologies that accelerate company success, specifically in the healthcare/ IT, energy conservation, and security markets. Utilizing a proprietary life-cycle venturing program, it partners with East-Bay corridor-based entrepreneurs and institutions, including UC Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore Labs and UC Davis. Claremont Creek has more than $300 million in capital under management in two funds. CCV healthcare/IT investments include Gene Security Networks, Fluxion Biosciences, Tibion and Geneweave Biosciences. For more information, visit www.claremontcreek.com.
About Clean Pacific Ventures Clean Pacific Ventures is a venture capital fund that invests in promising early stage clean technology companies. Clean Pacific focuses primarily on clean technologies related to energy, water, carbon reduction, agriculture and materials. In addition to Clean Power Finance, the portfolio includes SunLink, Marrone Bio Innovations, Carbonflow and AquaGenesis. For more information, visit www.cleanpacific.com.
About Sand Hill Angels
Sand Hill Angels, Inc. is a group of Silicon Valley accredited investors and entrepreneurs with broad networks and a range of domain expertise. Typically having grown multiple successful companies, SHA investors fund and mentor startups, most often in Technology, Cleantech and Life Sciences. As a leader in the Silicon Valley startup ecosystem, SHA works collaboratively with other angel organizations and venture capital funds. For more information, visit www.sandhillangels.com.
About Nat Kreamer
Nat Kreamer is the Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors of Clean Power Finance. Nat turned his idea to finance solar for consumers into SunRun, which he co-founded and led as the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer. Nat also was the President and member of the Board of Directors of Acro Energy Technologies, a residential and commercial solar integration company. He created the Chicago Climate Exchange market-making business for Pioneer Futures, a division of MF Global. Nat has also worked in power industry financial consulting at PricewaterhouseCoopers. An officer in the US Navy (Reserves), Nat is an Afghanistan war veteran, where he served in the Special Forces and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. He holds an MBA from Rice University and a BS from Northwestern University.
About Gary Kremen
Gary Kremen is a leading clean technology angel investor. His cleantech investments include Greenbox (acquired by Silver Springs), Recurv (formally Sustainable Spaces), Enmetric, Solar Universe, Verengo Solar, and People Power. He is a limited partner in 15 venture funds as well as an investor in more than 50 private companies. Before being a private investor, Kremen founded the following: Match.Com (world largest dating service), NetAngels (merged with Firefly Networks and sold to Microsoft), Sex.Com (sold in 2006 as the highest price domain name ever), and Los Altos Technologies (still in business for over 18 years). For more information, visit www.Kremen.com.