OpenSolar has announced that it has raised US$15 million to expand its free product offering to solar contractors who use the platform in more than 130 countries.
The funding round was led by one of Australia’s largest venture capital funds, Telstra Ventures, with participation from sustainability fund 2150 and existing investors including Jeff Tannenbaum’s Titan Grove and solar entrepreneurs Alec Guettel and Howard Wenger.
OpenSolar Co-founder and CEO Andrew Birch (Birchy) said, “We started OpenSolar in Australia which is the most advanced solar market in the world, where you pay an extremely low price per watt and get your system installed within one to three weeks. With a leading position now in the Australian market, we’ve introduced much of that speed and efficiency to the rest of the world through our software.”
Mr. Birch pointed out that by speeding up the process from accurate solar design to proposal and sale, and from permitting to install, OpenSolar is becoming the number one choice for installers around the globe. By integrating leading providers of hardware, finance and services, OpenSolar eliminates the barriers to a smooth and efficient workflow for the installer, which is critical to a healthy and profitable solar business.
Co-founder and CTO Adam Pryor said the company had developed an efficient growth model, leveraging over 250 years of combined solar experience within the OpenSolar team, with the platform now supporting over US$2.5 billion in annual system sales by contractors selling on OpenSolar. The funding announced today will support continued investment in the free-of-charge software platform, to ensure that OpenSolar’s end-to-end functionality acts as the backbone for contractors’ businesses, saving them many thousands of dollars every year and freeing them up to deliver more solar electrification to homes and businesses more efficiently.
OpenSolar provides the world’s fastest and most accurate solar design tool, independently verified by the United States National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and PV Evolution Labs (PVEL). With its worldwide database of tariffs and incentives combined with its unique approach to 3D site modeling, shade analysis, and energy production, the platform can produce extremely accurate and compelling solar proposals, created by solar contractors for their customers. With a built in Customer Relationship Management system, contracting and permitting tools, and embedded services such as finance and hardware ordering, the platform operates at the core of the solar contractor’s workflow.
Telstra Ventures Partner Albert Bielinko said, “We’ve been extremely impressed by OpenSolar, which we believe is the world’s leading solar design and sales platform. The software significantly accelerates how installers can electrify the world. We are firm believers in this unique business model that’s free to the installer and also highly valuable to hardware and service providers. OpenSolar’s clients are raving fans who use their open platform to dramatically increase the number of installations they can perform. It lets them achieve more with less. OpenSolar has a product led growth motion, a truly global footprint and a delightful user experience. The company has an experienced team of all-stars with deep domain expertise who have shown they can execute.”
Rahul Parekh, Principal at investment firm 2150 said, “2150 seeks out technology companies with the potential in the coming decades to benefit billions of people, creating substantial value along the way and lowering gigatons of emissions. We’re thrilled to be partnering with OpenSolar, its mission-driven leadership team, and the existing investors. We believe that OpenSolar’s platform can proliferate and bend the curve of solar adoption around the world.”
In addition to the opportunities to expand the capabilities of the platform, OpenSolar will further increase the number of partnerships it has around the world, earning fees in exchange for connecting solar contractors to the products and service providers they need to run and grow their businesses. Over three trillion dollars of value is expected to be created in the transition to solar electrification between now and 2030, and OpenSolar is well positioned to participate in this opportunity.
OpenSolar’s extreme design accuracy means that a contractor can design a system to meet a home or business owner’s current and future electricity needs.
Mr. Birch said, “OpenSolar’s mission is to achieve a world powered by sunshine by 2050. We are assembling the greatest team of technologists and customer experience specialists in the solar software industry, with the aim of helping contractors sell more solar – and we won’t stop until every compatible roof is generating clean energy to power the electrification revolution.”
“The world’s transition to solar energy represents one of the greatest wealth creation opportunities in history, and our commitment to help local solar installers participate in that change is stronger than ever. This funding allows us to double down on developing an ever-expanding set of software tools that increase their growth and profitability,” Mr. Pryor said. “We look forward to providing greater levels of customization, and new capabilities to help electrify homes and businesses.”