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Climatize: crowdfunding for C&I solar

Climatize: crowdfunding for C&I solar

American solar boom

Climate finance has grown steadily over the past decade, but financial flows must triple to meet the Paris Agreement goals.

In 2023, half of the electricity capacity added in the US was solar. The expansion of solar capacity is mainly fueled by utility projects, with some contribution from residential initiatives.

US solar installation and forecast (source)

On one side of the spectrum, utility-scale projects are easy to understand and underwrite, with ample financial support from major backers, expediting project funding. The financing landscape favours traditional ground-mounted utility-scale PV plants.

On the other side, third-party financing and leasing models have propelled the success of small-scale rooftop solar, particularly in states with favourable net metering policies. Retail banks, assessing household credit scores and history, can make financing decisions within seconds.

The C&I solar Rubickscube

In between, Commercial and Industrial (C&I) projects – non-residential on the graph above – remain largely overlooked, despite no shortage of lucrative solar project investment opportunities.

Medium-sized C&I solar projects – projects in the $250k-$5M range – face financing hurdles due to their scale and higher transaction cost, resulting in historical neglect and underfunding. C&I solar remains a viable investment opportunity, but requires a tailored approach.

C&I solar has fallen between the cracks in the landscape of solar financing.

Philippe Hartley, CEO of CleanFi, compares this conundrum to solving a Rubickscube. If you have 6 minutes to spare, watch this: Why is Small to Medium C&I Solar such a challenge?

Investors seek green opportunities

At the same time, individual investors increasingly seek high-impact, reliable, climate-positive investments with clear environmental benefits, aiming for returns matching or surpassing market averages.

Climatize saw the opportunity and designed a solution to address these two unmet needs at once. Its funding platform bridges the financing gap for mid-sized solar projects while enabling individuals to invest in this untapped market.

Climatize solar funding portal

I had the chance to talk to the CEO of Climatize in 2022. I was sourcing climate tech startups for a pitch challenge. He truly impressed me with his energy and his vision!

Will Wiseman (CEO) and Alba Forns (COO) had just launched Climatize so it was a little too early to enter the competition. I'm happy to see that they are now raising their pre-seed round!

They select medium-scale solar projects that can't be funded by institutional lenders and enable them to issue debt securities on a proprietary full-stack platform. US only for now.

A user-facing app allows investors of all sizes to directly invest in these high-yield energy projects, offering 8-10% annual interest and accelerated 1-2 year paybacks. And you can start with as little as $10!

Climatize raised almost $3 million in the first 10 months, fully funding 7 solar and battery storage installations, 5 of which are already generating electricity.

The startup pre-seed round is offered on AngelList by Climate Capital. It's closing tomorrow! Go grab a seat before it's too late (no financial advice, do your due diligence).

Who's building this in Europe?

See you next week!
Colin Rebel
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