SAN MATEO, Calif., Jan. 15, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — SolarCity(R) (SCTY) is transforming energy delivery by making solar power more accessible and affordable than previously possible — now the company wants to provide a new avenue for individuals and institutions from around the world to participate in and benefit from that transformation. SolarCity today announced plans to launch a new, Web-based investment platform through which it intends to allow a broad range of investors, including both individuals and organizations of all sizes, to participate directly in solar investments that have previously only been available to large financial institutions.
“People want to support clean energy development. Customers are seeing the benefits of getting solar for their homes but they would like to participate in other ways as well,” said SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive. “Previously, only institutional investors could participate in the financing of most solar assets. With our investment platform, we’re hoping to allow far more individuals and smaller organizations to participate in the transformation to a cleaner, more distributed infrastructure.”
SolarCity has acquired a privately-held financial technology company, Common Assets LLC, which developed the investment platform SolarCity will use to distribute its investment products. Tim Newell, the president and chief executive officer of Common Assets, and John Witchel, Common Assets’ chief architect, have joined SolarCity as part of the transaction. Newell, who will serve as SolarCity’s vice president of financial products, brings more than 25 years of investment, technology and government experience, including roles as senior advisor to private equity firm US Renewables Group; managing director of venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson’s clean technology affiliate fund; managing director and head of investment banking for E*Trade’s investment banking affiliate, E*Offering; and head of investment bank Robertson Stephen’s financial technology group. Witchel, who will serve as SolarCity’s senior technology architect for financial products, is an experienced technology executive and successful entrepreneur with experience in large-scale financial innovation. Notably, Witchel was co-founder and chief technology officer of Prosper Marketplace, where he oversaw design and development of the first person-to-person online lending marketplace in the U.S. Common Assets was backed by U.S. Renewables Group (USRG), a private equity firm that specializes in renewable energy investments, and Jim McDermott, managing partner of USRG, served as chairman of Common Assets prior to the acquisition.
“SolarCity’s financial products will provide an exciting new opportunity for people to make an impact — both for their own financial future and our global future — by investing in the shift to solar energy,” said Newell. “Unlike crowdfunding and community solar approaches that typically aggregate investors to provide loans for individual projects, SolarCity plans to offer debt investments backed by diversified portfolios of solar assets.”
SolarCity is the U.S.’ leading solar provider1 — the company is currently providing nearly one in every three new residential solar systems in America.2 SolarCity’s financial products will enable a new avenue for impact investing, with the ability to deliver powerful social and environmental benefits. The company also recently launched the Give Power Foundation, through which it plans to donate solar-powered lighting to one new school that lacks electricity for each new megawatt of residential solar power it deploys.
This announcement is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities of SolarCity and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale of any securities in any jurisdiction. SolarCity is not currently offering or selling any securities through the platform, and SolarCity has not determined the terms or structure of any securities that will or may be offered through the platform.
SolarCity(R) (SCTY) provides clean energy. The company has disrupted the century-old energy industry by providing renewable electricity directly to homeowners, businesses and government organizations for less than they spend on utility bills. SolarCity gives customers control of their energy costs to protect them from rising rates. The company offers solar power, energy efficiency and electric vehicle services, and makes clean energy easy by taking care of everything from design and permitting to monitoring and maintenance. SolarCity currently serves 14 states and signs a new customer every three minutes. Visit the company online at www.solarcity.com and follow the company on Facebook Twitter.
This release contains forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, statements regarding SolarCity’s plans to offer new financial products through its own, Web-based investment platform and statements related to the foregoing. Forward-looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which such performance or results will be achieved, if at all. The forward-looking statements in this release are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in or suggested by the forward looking statements, including risks and uncertainties related to potential legal, regulatory and operational matters associated with the proposed investment platform and strategy. You should also read the section entitled “Risk Factors” in our quarterly report on Form 10-Q, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which identifies additional risks and uncertainties. We do not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.
1 As reported in Time Magazine, “A Solar Power Success Story”, November 25, 2013
2 Source: GTM Research — U.S. PV Leaderboard Q4 2013
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