Solar financing startup Mosaic, which wants to be the “Kickstarter for solar,” has a lot to celebrate. This week, it released a platform that lets average people – you and me – invest in solar projects with as little $25.
In the first 24 hours, Mosaic’s publicly available investment were completely sold out. Over 400 investors pitched in $313,325 to fully fund for rooftop solar projects. Investments ranged from $25 to $30,000; the average was $767.
“It was an amazing 24 hours,” said Mosaic’s Lisa Curtis. “We’re totally blown away.”
Oakland-based Mosaic promises to pay investors back with an interest rate that varies project to project. At 4.5 percent – the rate on a current project – that’s a better ROI than stashing money in a CD. The company says its business model marks the beginning “of a new, transparent and democratic way of financing clean energy through crowdfunding that could disrupt the two largest industries in the world: energy and finance.”
Currently, the investments are just open to individual residents of California and New York, as well as accredited investors from around the country.
“Energy investing has traditionally been a bank only game, but already, hundreds of people from across the United States have invested to finance solar projects through Mosaic. We expect millions more to follow,” said Dan Rosen, Mosaic’s CEO.
Mosaic, which has 14 employees, is a private, venture-backed start-up that was founded in 2011. In May, it raised $2.5 million in a first round of venture funding led by Spring Ventures of San Francisco. In June, the Department of Energy awarded Mosaic a $2 million grant through its SunShot initiative.