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Archive for April 9th, 2013

Apr 9, 2013, 11:03am PDT

VC, angel solar focus shifts as funding hits 5-year low

Solar funding by venture and angel investors hit a five-year low in the first quarter of this year.

Senior Technology Reporter- Silicon Valley Business Journal

Investments in the solar industry hit a five-year low in the first quarter, according to a new report, as venture funding focus shifts towards startups that do solar financing and installation.

CB Insights said there were just 18 investments in the first three months of the year that gave out $269 million. That contrasts dramatically with the nearly $3 billion in funding in almost 50 deals that came in the second quarter of 2011, just before the infamous shutdown of Fremont-based Solyndra.

Monday’s $37 million funding of Clean Power Finance is the type of activity that is more common these days. The San Francisco-based company’s revenue rose 325 percent in 2012, mostly from transaction fees earned through its online financing marketplace.

That’s because American consumers are still buying and installing solar power in growing numbers. The materials aren’t likely to be domestic, although the financing and installers are.

In another solar financing development this week, California officials told Oakland-based Mosaic that it can crowdfund $100 million worth of solar projects. The company lets state residents invest as little as $25 in projects and get paid back with interest from the revenue those projects generate.

CB Insights reports that despite the overall slowdown in solar deals, there are still early stage deals coming into the pipeline. It said that almost 45 percent of solar investments in the last year have been seed/angel and Series A fundings.

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Cromwell Schubarth is the Senior Technology Reporter at the Business Journal. His phone number is 408.299.1823.

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San Francisco, Venture capital, Startups, Solar energy

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