Renewable energy investment wave continues as solar lender Loanpal raises $ 800 million – TechCrunch


Days after billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya announced his involvement in the $ 1.3 billion acquisition of solar lending and home improvement firm Sunlight Financial, a group of investors announced a close injection. a billion dollars in Loan pal, another renewable energy and home improvement lender.

The $ 800 million pledge to Loanpal comes with a wave of climate pledges from some of the world’s biggest investors.

Yesterday, Blackrock boss Larry Fink, released the annual letter from the $ 9 trillion investment manager calling for stricter accounting and reporting on climate data, and Bank of America joined 60 other companies committing to a new reporting standard for climate and sustainability approved by the International Business Council and the World Economic Forum. Fink approves a separate reporting system called the Climate-Related Financial Reporting Working Group which has the backing of some of the world’s largest financial investors.

These new standards will attract more investment dollars in companies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change. And loan programs to push for more energy-efficient devices and renewable facilities are probably the lowest handy fruit for the financial services industry.

This is one of the reasons why investors love NEA, WestCap Group, Brookfield Asset Management and energy private equity giant Riverstone Holdings back Loanpal.

The deal, which was a side transaction to give strategic investors a stake in the company, actually ended last year. As a result, Scott Sandell, Managing General Partner at NEA and long-time public relations investor and Laurence Tosi, Managing Partner of WestCap Group, have joined the board of directors of the company.

“We have invited a number of players into the business,” said Loanpal founder, president and CEO Hayes Barnard. Former chief revenue officer of SolarCity prior to its acquisition by Tesla, Barnard has a long history with solar energy development. At Loanpal, he also had the track record to choose from among potential investors. “We’re a multi-billion dollar business, ”Barnard said.

Founding Chairman and CEO of Loanpal, Hayes Barnard. Image Credit: Loanpal

“It was us who invited strategic investors into the business and thought about where they could help and how they could help,” Barnard said.

Loanpal is profitable, has no debt and pays monthly dividends to its backers. “Today, we fund $ 400 million per month for about 15,000 solar systems combined with battery systems,” explains Barnard. In total, the company has put up $ 5.9 billion in consumer loans since its launch in 2018. Loanpal also has around 85% of the top solar companies as sellers and employs around 12,000 sales professionals.

The numbers helped the company recruit board members like Tosi, the former CFO of multi-billion dollar financial services firm Blackstone. “He really understands how to build large scale capital markets, ”Barnard said.

On the contrary, the attention of Blackrock, Blackstone, Riverstone and all financial services companies without reference to stones or boulders in their name shows that this is a large scale capital problem. Decarbonizing the global economy is a $ 10 trillion business, according to the World Economic Forum (or, for retail investors, the equivalent of roughly 66.7 billion Gamestops during yesterday’s stock market).

The short term market that we will be entering now is the sustainable home solutions market which is a $ 100 billion market, ”said Barnard.

A significant portion of this $ 10 trillion will come from the development and integration of new consumer devices and materials to reduce energy consumption. “We believe the battery storage market, the smart thermostat market, and the solar market are all related and combined,” Barnard said. “Overall, the most important thing is that only the technology is better. It was going to expand regardless of who was in the White House. These technologies are better, they save homeowners money. It’s kind of an IQ test if the owners want to do it.


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