Partially kickstarted by an incubator fund from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sunshot Initiative, online solar marketplace pioneer EnergySage recently secured $1.5 million in private funding, on the heels of a fiscal year that tripled its revenue and registrations. Not bad for a renewable energy upstart.
The new round of seed funding, which brings the Boston-based comparison shopper’s overall haul to $4 million, comes from Launchpad Venture Group, which adds its Gail Greenwald to EnergySage’s board of directors. That should be enough to expand its online solar marketplace beyond the 30 states in which it now has a footprint by the end of this year.
“This new funding will enable us to expand our reach, connecting with more communities countrywide to bring desperately needed simplicity, transparency and choice to the process of solar energy shopping,” CEO Vikram Aggarwal said in a recent flurry of EnergySage press releases trumpeting its good news. “The solar industry is growing, but it’s not meeting its full potential because solar is a complicated topic and a serious investment, and people haven’t had easy access to the data and unbiased information they need to truly evaluate all of their options.”
EnergySage’s online marketplace tackles those problems by aggregating data on over 250 solar system installers to help commercial and residential consumers tailor solarization to their specific needs and costs. It also facilitates “partnerships with businesses, municipalities, non-profits, utilities and a variety of other organizations striving to promote clean energy adoption,” Aggarwal explained, reportedly shortening installer sales cycles by 70 percent while achieving a 20 percent discount compared to the market average. EnergySage also claims a solar adoption rate of two to three times the “industry norms.”
From the first quarter of last year to 2015, EnergySage tripled its revenue and registrations across 30 states, while teaming up with partners as different as The Solutions Project, Staples, World Wildlife Fund, Clean Air Council and Connecticut Green Bank, among many others. It also recently won the backing of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, after receiving an award from governor Andrew Cuomo for solar expansion in his state. By all appearances, its relatively simple business model seems to be improving upon what can be a complicated renewable energy purchase, while generating a return on investment that is attracting high-profile clients as well as homeowners hungry for clean living.
“Beyond delivering substantial value to the consumer, the EnergySage marketplace has also proven to reduce customer acquisition costs for installers by more than 50 percent,” Aggarwal added. “Because installers are able to more quickly and easily connect with purchase-ready customers, they can increase close rates and reduce sales cycle times. The marketplace is transforming the solar industry into one that is not only highly efficient, but also scalable.”