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Cloover is Helping Accelerate Solar Adoption by Empowering Installers with Financing Options

Image Credits: Cloover
By: Headliners News / June 12, 2024
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, skyrocketing electricity prices in Europe drove a surge in demand for solar panels. However, with electricity prices now stabilizing, solar installers are investing more in marketing to attract customers.

One effective strategy for securing more business has been offering financing options. Unfortunately, smaller installation companies often lack the resources to underwrite new solar installations, which can cost tens of thousands of euros. This gap forces customers to seek bank loans, during which many switch providers due to competitive offers from other installers, as noted by Jodok Betschart, co-founder and co-CEO of Cloover.

Betschart and his co-founders, Peder Broms and Valentin Gönczy, realized that the solution was not only better project-bidding software but also integrating financing to enable small installers to provide loans themselves. With just one conversation, installers get a real-time underwriting and credit decision.

Cloover, a Europe-based startup, developed software that evaluates customer data to determine their loan repayment ability and energy expenditure. Often, the monthly payment for solar panels is less than a customer’s current electric bill. Since banks typically do not factor in these energy savings into their models, there are many times Cloover can enable financing where a normal bank said they cannot do it.

To support these loans, Cloover recently secured $108.5 million in debt financing alongside a $5.5 million seed round led by Lowercarbon Capital, with participation from 9900 Capital and QED’s Fontes. The startup plans to manage the loans through a special-purpose vehicle financed by senior debt providers, covering a portion with equity.

Cloover charges installers a transaction fee for each loan they originate and claims a percentage of each loan payment. The company plans to launch software later this year that will allow homeowners to sell excess energy back to the grid, taking a cut from these transactions as well.

The new funding will be used to expand Cloover’s sales and customer success teams, helping to train installers on leveraging financing for energy upgrades. Currently, Cloover collaborates with around 200 installers, but Betschart believes there are thousands more who could benefit from their services.

Empowering small installers with financing capabilities is expected to accelerate the adoption of climate-friendly technologies. According to their team, some eighty-five percent of all renewable energy installations of solar energy storage, heat pumps, energy management systems, and so on, are done through local and SMB installers. Large companies already have advanced platforms to assess customer finances, so the only way to achieve this type of energy transition is by offering the same options to SMB installers.

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