Aurora Solar aims to power the growing solar industry with a $250M round C – TechCrunch –

Aurora Solar had one of the obvious pitches in retrospect. Instead of going home to install solar panels and manually measuring the roof, why not use aerial scans and images of the entire area?That smart play won them $ 20 million roundThere is a large $ 250 MC, as we aim to become a software platform where the upcoming PV expansion will be carried out, in a $ 50MB round, and now in just six months.

The idea is simple enough to explain, but difficult to implement. There is plenty of data on the topography, physical and infrastructure of most cities. Satellite images, aerial rider scans, light and power lines, usage data, and, of course, where and how the sun hits a particular location — this information is readily available. Aurora’s innovation was not only to use it, but to assemble it into a cohesive system that was simple and effective enough to be widely used by solar installers.

“Aurora’s core value proposition is the fact that we can do things remotely much faster and more accurately than when we go to the site,” explains co-founder and CRO Sam Adeyemo.

After developing the algorithms that capture the data mentioned above, the services they offer are whether solar equipment makes sense to potential customers, and if so, what the cost and appearance will be, down to size and appearance. Respond to difficult questions very quickly. The angle of the panel.

Image credit: Aurora solar

“It’s not uncommon for customers to cost thousands of dollars to buy,” said Chris Hopper, co-founder and CEO of Adeyemo. This is because all installations are custom. He estimated that half of the setup price tags were “soft costs,” or higher than the actual price of the hardware.

“If the quote is $ 30,000, it could actually cost $ 15,000 on the roof, and the rest is overhead, design, acquisition costs, and a little sloppy,” he explains. did. “This is the next frontier to make solar more cost-competitive, and Aurora comes in. Every time we cut the installation price by a few dollars, it’s open to new consumers.”

The company doesn’t have its own lidar flights or solar installations, so raising $ 250 million can be quite expensive for software makers. While doing their best to bring out the secret Skunk Works project underway in Aurora, Adeyemo and Hopper patiently explained that enterprise-scale software isn’t cheap and funding is proportional to their ambitions. ..

“The amount we raise speaks for an opportunity in front of us,” Hopper said. “There are more solars on the roof.”

Aurora has been used to evaluate about 5 million solar projects so far, and Adeyemo estimates that about one-fifth of them will eventually be built. And that’s just part of it. Solar power currently accounts for about 2% of the US electricity infrastructure, but is expected to grow by orders of magnitude over the next 20 years.

The new administration has ignited optimism in the industry, and whether or not something like the Green New Deal will come true, a radically different approach to environmental and energy policy will have more eyes on clean energy. There are, as a result, many things that are written in the check.

Aurora Solar co-founders Samuel Adeyemo (left) and Chris Hopper (right).

Image credit: Aurora solar

“It’s very important. As awareness of climate change grows, so does the interest in ways to mitigate climate change,” said Adeemo. He gave the example of Texas. Texas received more per capita inquiries than anywhere else in the country after the recent storms and power outages. Renewable energy may be a paid issue in some respects, but solar power is bipartisan and widely popular throughout the political spectrum.

The $ 250 million round, led by Coatue and attended by former investors ICONIQ, Energize Ventures, and Fifth Wall, gives the company a broader and deeper understanding of its products.

“Historically, we were more design solutions. The next step is to extend it to a platform that covers more of the solarization process,” said Hopper. “I don’t think this will be a niche market. From 2% to over 20%, that’s a big effort.”

Co-founders are worried about whether and when they will need a large amount of cash in advance to grow their SaaS enterprise and will need to acquire more capital during future promotions. I can not do it.

“The company’s first five years were almost bootstrapped … we raised like a million dollars, so we knew what it would be like to grow the company from that perspective, and the business We now know what it really takes to capital to expand, ”says Adeyemo. “If you want to be a platform that makes up a significant proportion of your country’s energy capacity … you need to have the tools.”

It’s easy to see what’s configured with accurate tool-ups — the company Future summit In June.

Aurora Solar aims to power the growing solar industry with a $250M round C – TechCrunch Source link Aurora Solar aims to power the growing solar industry with a $250M round C – TechCrunch


May 25, 2021 susan ward