SolarSquare, a B2C rooftop solar startup, raised Rs 100 crore in a Series A funding round led by Elevation Capital and existing investor low carbon — Chris Sacca’s US-based climate tech fund.
The round also saw participation from other existing investors including Good Capital, Rainmatter and angels Vidit Atrey and Sanjeev Barnwal (Meesho).
The latest capital injection comes five months after the startup raised its funding round worth Rs 30 crore led by Good Capital.
The three-year-old startup, which enables consumers to install and maintain rooftop solar systems, plans to deploy the funds to bolster its integrated solar finance proposition by securing a NBFC license in the near future. At present, it offers instant loans for solar rooftops through its NBFC partners.
“We expect to launch the application process in the coming months. Having our own NBFC will allow us to offer long-term point-of-sale loans to consumers, which would make the product more affordable and cost-effective. Short-term EMIs for solar rooftop projects turn out to be costly, and therefore, we aim to innovate on the same,” co-founder Shreya Mishra says Your story.
The initial cost of installing a rooftop solar power station (usually 3-4 kilowatts) in homes is around Rs 2 lakh. This one-time cost proves difficult and hence the need for cheap finance/loan solutions is a necessity for solar rooftops to grow in India.
Serving six markets including Bengaluru, Delhi, Gujarat, Hyderabad, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, the startup also plans to expand its pan-Indian reach over the next 18-24 months, in addition to launching two apps for consumers and merchants (installation and sales partners), respectively, for monitoring solar electricity production.
Founded in 2015 by IIT Bombay alumni Neeraj Jain, Shreya Mishra and former Panasonic executive Nikhil Nahar, SolarSquare was launched to 2020 as a commercial rooftop solar solutions provider. Later, the startup decided to turn to the consumer residential solar segment (B2C) and carried out its first installation in September 2020.
The startup purchases rooftop solar panels and inverters from third-party vendors, designs them in its in-house facilities, and installs them according to consumer requirements, in addition to offering after-sales service.
“It’s like IKEA. The installation is completely modular and standardized. There is no separate requirement for different roofs. The design takes place in our in-house facilities and the assembly takes place on the roofs. We managed to reduce the installation time of the entire project from a typical three to five days to a maximum of eight hours,” added the co-founder.
The startup charges a flat fee to consumers and also helps them qualify for government subsidies. While it can install solar power plants, ranging from 3 kilowatts to 50 kilowatts (large villas), almost 95% of its demand comes from plants of less than 10 kilowatts, especially in urban areas.
According to Shreya, the company claims to have sold solar systems to around 5,000 homes. It expects to break even in the next 18-24 months and grow nearly 3x in 2022.
Chris Sacca, venture capitalist and founder of climate tech fund Lowercarbon, said: “Solar is now much cheaper and cleaner than digging up and burning old dinosaur bones. So putting it on your roof makes sense, especially in such a sunny part of the world as India. But installing the panels has not always been easy. We’ve backed Shreya, Neeraj and Nikhil because they’ve cracked the code for hassle-free rooftop solar.
Mukul Arora, Partner at Elevation Capital, added, “SolarSquare’s comprehensive business model and product innovations deliver a high-quality consumer experience and lay the foundation for building a technology-driven home energy brand. . »
“The founders’ customer obsession and deep experience in the solar industry positions them very strongly to become a leading Indian climate technology company, and we are delighted to partner with them on this journey.” he added.
According to Mordor Intelligence, the Indian rooftop solar market is expected to register a CAGR of over 15% during the period 2022-2027.
The startup sees competition from established players including MYSUN, CleanMax Solar, Fourth Partner Energy and Vikram Solar, and startups such as Oorjan Cleantech, Enerzy Solar, SundayGrids and John Cleantech.