US residential solar platform raises US$375m for business expansion

Palmetto said it was looking to expand into other clean energy products and services in time. Image: Solar City

Clean energy marketplace and technology services platform Palmetto has raised US$375 million to support its business expansion as it looks to drive uptake of rooftop solar and expand to offer new products. 

The Charleston, South Carolina-based company will use the funds to grow its marketplace of independent contractors and develop its overall operating efficiencies in order to expand its addressable market, it said in a statement.

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Palmetto said the US residential solar market was a US$100 billion marker but that only 3% of the 70 million homes in the country have PV systems in place.

Its business model employs third-party services and a subscription-based revenue model that meant it was able to charge 30% less that its rivals, Palmetto said, adding that the model decoupled revenue growth from operating expenses creating a “win-win” for homeowners and the company.

It also has a proprietary software platform that manages the survey, design, engineering, financing, permitting, maintenance and active system monitoring of the installation.

“Palmetto is the first distributed energy company built from a software foundation, which enables us to scale unlike any other clean energy provider,” said Chris Kemper, chairman, founder and CEO of Palmetto.

Celebrating a “major milestone” for the company, Kemper said he was looking to leverage Palmetto’s “unique operating model” to continue the company’s growth, eventually expanding into other clean energy products and services.

The round was led by Social Capital, with participation from new and existing investors including ArcTern Ventures, Gaingels, Lerer Hippeau and MacKinnon, Bennett & Co.

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