Sacca’s Lowercarbon doubles down on startup bringing solar modules to Indian rooftops • TechCrunch


Lowercarbon doubles as Chris Saka from Startup The race to bring solar modules to India’s rooftops.

SolarSquare said Thursday it has raised $13 million in a Series 1 funding round led by Lowercarbon and Elevation Capital, just months after securing its seed funding. Also on the round were current backers Good Capital, Rainmatter and Better Capital and Social Trading founders of Meesho, Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal.

Even as India is increasingly adding solar generation capacity, there is a large population of the South Asian country – individuals – who have not yet joined the clean energy bandwagon.

Less than 0.5% of Indian homes have rooftop solar systems. Such slow adoption could dampen Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious goal of renewable energy. SolarSquare, which sells, installs and helps people finance solar modules, has an ambitious plan to change that. The startup also provides its solar solutions to residential associations and commercial establishments.

Solar Square It says it has heated nearly 5,000 homes in India in the past two years, helping them save about $480 a year on their electricity bills and offset four metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

SolarSquare co-founder and CEO Shreya Mishra said SolarSquare, which has focused on serving the customer segment for two years after running a profitable rooftop solar business for companies for years, is currently generating revenue of $12 million annually. , in an interview with TechCrunch.

“We are on the path to being a complete rooftop solutions provider. The market opportunity is so great, you can imagine the confidence that a middle class homeowner would have to make a purchase of this magnitude. We innovate in every aspect of solar installation to serve our customers.”

The average ticket size for purchasing a solar module is around 2,000 INR, or $2,410. SolarSquare also assists customers with financing options through a network of partners. Mishra said she sees the startup obtaining a license to operate its non-bank financial institution to provide better options to its customers within a year.

Nikhil Nahar (left) and his wife Shriya Mishra and Neeraj Jain founded SolarSquare. (Image credits: SolarSquare)

“Solar as a product you pay for. It is unlike a product like, say, your refrigerator, which is a cost. Once you place the solar modules on your roof, you start saving every month. An investment of 2 lakh will save 12 to 14 lakh in 25 years. But there is a high upfront investment, so once we realized that, it was clear that we needed to provide more financing options to clients.

SolarSquare – which currently has a presence in Bengaluru, Delhi, Gujarat, Hyderabad, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra – installs its solar panels in a matter of hours, compared to some older companies taking up to five days. In some houses, at the request of customers, they build raised structures for the installation of panels. The startup plans to expand across India with new funding.

“Solar energy is now much cheaper and cleaner than digging and burning ancient dinosaur bones, so putting it on your roof makes sense, especially in a part of the world with as much sun as India,” Saka said in a statement. “But installing the panels was not always easy. We supported Shreya, Neeraj and Nikhil as they broke the solar code on hassle-free rooftops.”

Indian companies that are having success in Indian housing will help achieve the goal of renewable energy in the South Asian country. Coal currently powers 70% of India’s electricity generation, but Modi has pledged that India will produce more energy through solar and other renewables than its entire grid is now by 2030.

It has taken steps to help startups like SolarSquare. New Delhi provides subsidies to homeowners who are powered by solar energy on the roofs, allowing them to distribute the excess energy they generate to the grids throughout the day and use the grid’s power at night.

Mishra praised New Delhi’s efforts on climate change, saying: “India is the first country in the world to do net metering, this exchange of electricity, a consumer right that makes the economy more viable where you can trade electricity freely with Grid. More than 80% of our homes meet 100% of its electricity needs in this way.”

“Net metering is a policy in many parts of the world. In India, that is a right. A policy is something that can be reviewed every few years, but a right is a right that will be adhered to. This is one of the reasons we are so optimistic about servicing the residential solar market in India. As long as net metering is a consumer’s right, nothing else is needed.”

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