Updated: Clean Power Finance, a solar software and financing startup, has raised $19 million from investors, according to a government filing. The company intends to close another $600,000 in this round, and investors listed on the company’s filing include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Partner Ben Kortlang, and Claremont Creek’s Nat Goldhaber.
Update: Clean Power Finance just put out a release confirming the funding, which it puts at $25 million, and also noted it includes Google Ventures. In addition, the company says it has brought on Nat Kreamer as CEO, who co-founded solar financing company SunRun.
Greentech Media’s Eric Wesoff reported back in December that both Kleiner and Google Ventures had backed Clean Power Finance, and early in 2010, Clean Power Finance announced that it has raised a $6.9 million round from Claremont Creek Ventures, Clean Pacific Ventures, Sand Hill Angels and investor Gary Kremen. Kremen, the founder of Match.com turned greentech investor, is the founder and chairman of Clean Power Finance.
The solar company provides Software-as-a-Service tools for solar installers to start the sales, rebate, and lead-gen processes, and also more recently started providing power purchase agreements (PPAs) for rooftop solar for home owners. New financing models like PPAs and leases have been created in recent years to sell solar electricity at a fixed rate over a long-term contract, enabling customers to purchase rooftop solar for little or no money down. Other solar PPA and lease providers include Sungevity, SolarCity and SunRun.
While the solar manufacturing industry is facing consolidation because of the dropping cost of solar panels — there have been three solar manufacturer bankruptcies in recent weeks including Solyndra, SpectraWatt and Evergreen Solar — the market for rooftop solar panels will only grow as the price of solar drops dramatically. So basically, the current climate is bad for the weaker solar makers, but really good for solar buyers. And these solar financing companies like Clean Power Finance are also enabling the proliferation of more rooftop solar systems, given the high upfront costs of solar can be a major barrier for customers.