Solar Money Train Rolls On: Clean Power Finance Raises $6.9M

Clean Power Financeannounced the first close of a $6.9M financing round co-led byClaremont Creek Ventures and Clean Pacific Ventures, along with SandHill Angels and clean tech investor Gary Kremen.   

GaryKremen is the Chairman and founder of Clean Power Finance, aninteresting solar company.  CPF provides a standardized software toolthat lets solar panel installers speed up the sales proposal, rebateand lead generation process.

Based in occasionally sunny SanFrancisco, the company aims to enable mass-market adoption of solar byproviding an end-to-end solution that integrates software and financinginto the sales process. 

Solar installers work with trucks,ladders, tool belts, and roofs.  "They hate paperwork," according toKremen.   So, Clean Power Finance (CPF) runs that part of the businessfor the installer.  "We help the installer close the customer," assertsthe founder.

CPF supplies the integrated software but soonexpects to provide a means of financing solar roofs for home andbusiness owners.  Kremen asks, "Why can’t buying solar be like buying acar with POS (point of sale) financing?   Solar is in roughly the sameprice range – you should get credit at the same time you make thepurchase."
 
As the price of the solar equipment drops – the"soft costs" of the sale and installation become more significant,according to Kremen.  "We are the CRM and MRP and system design – weproduce the proposals and fill out the forms."   Additionally, we havethe best database of utility rates.  PG&E has 200 rates.  We helpthese installers get away from the math and the paperwork – filling outhe forms can take 5 hours."

The company also does shading analysis – and that saves the installer at least one visit to the site. 

Astestament to the value of their Software as a Service product – CPF haswon Conergy, Real Goods, RoofRay, and Suntech as customers.  Kremenclaims that, "We probably power 20% of the solar installers." 

BTW – investor and founder Gary Kremenhas had a unique and storied history prior to his solar venture.  As afounder of Match.com, he’s responsible, in his words, for "spreadingthe love."    And there’s the sex.com saga which you can read about here.

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